A powerful literary piece of fiction that is hypnotic enough to make you believe that it is real. [This] coming-of-age novel filled with history is a rich experience and a beautiful journey brewed by the author. I give this book 5 stars….
Such books are a rarity. The book is also an immaculate portrayal of the rural farm life of early America. It's very elaborately detailed...there's a lot of history relating to the Black community included in the book. My feeling throughout the book was that the author has lived through this whole experience. It sounds very real. It's an excellent read to those looking for something different!
Frohreich has woven many biographical and historical elements into this otherwise fictional tale. So convincing are the detailed but efficient narrative and vivid, complex characterizations, it’s easy to forget that the author is not the protagonist and that the plot isn’t real, The book will appeal to young adult and adult readers who enjoy a Midwestern gothic aesthetic that reflects aspects of works like “Dandelion Wine” by Ray Bradbury, “A River Runs Through It and Other Stories” by Norman Maclean, and “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger.
The author is a master at weaving lasting relationships and multiple deaths in a short period of time. The central theme is the trusting friendship and father figure developed by Kurt's open heart interaction with retired negro Pullman porter, Dutch Clemons. Their favorite fishing hole is the backdrop for elevated friendships, a first time crush and loss of love, which keeps the reader in suspense from beginning to end.
- Gary Don
I loved this book. Although it’s set in rural Indiana, it took me right back to my roots of growing up in rural Iowa. Many similarities. I also appreciated the history lesson of life for both blacks and whites in the 40’s to 60’s.
- Carolyn H. Piepmeier
Through his characters, Frohreich engages the reader with personal stories told with humor and historical perspective. His economy of language and verbal wit bring to the page the richness of each individual's place in the community of mankind as well as the small Indiana town which is the center of the narrator's young life. Thank you, Mr. Frohreich, for writing such an endearing tale that brings the power of love, humor, loyalty and song to the negatives of life. I wanted the story to be real.
- Sharon Lee
Even though I know this book was a novel, it read like a memoir. Frohreich's writing has a quiet Hoosier sound to it that is both comfortable and convincing.
A great book set in a time of changing racial relationships. I felt like I was there when I read this book, good immersion, even some history I wasn't aware of.
- Drinker of Ales
Frohreich weaves the tale of a young boy, Kurt, who chooses his friends and an unlikely mentor wisely. It is a fictional story embedded in the history of the times that isn't shy about the subject of abuse and prejudice, but is balanced with the strength of love and friendship. Beautiful story with a just ending!”
This novel does a great job of capturing the experience of growing up on a farm in the 1950s. The addition of racial tensions and conflicts adds a larger historical perspective as well. Highly recommended.
- Kenneth E. Evens
Keith has shown what’s its truly like to grow up in 1950’s rural Indiana. Obviously, the author has lived his novel and he rises to the challenge with great skill and accomplishment in this thoughtful novel. Add a couple of murders and you’re hooked.
- Joe Herrera
Readers return to a simpler time on a farm in northern Indiana and experience the challenges of growing up with young Kurt, who like Huckleberry Finn, has a life closely tied to a river and a newfound friend....
- Hoosier Grandma
Blackberries Are Red When Green is an insightful and heartfelt coming of age story.
- Pamela Galera
Although fiction, there's a lot of verifiable historical information included in it. For those who have ever lived in the north central part of Indiana, Cass County in particular, it's not difficult to figure out the actual names of the fictitious places while reading the story. (At the end of the book, the author does give that info.) Since a lot of the folks in the book were based on people who had lived in the area where the author had grown up, it was interesting to link those folks to the real people that were known in the community.
- Doris B.
A bit of history along with a walk down memory lane. I’m anxious to see something else from this author.
- S. Bart
“I am a proud hayseed, reared in a north-central Hoosier village. We eked out a lower-middle class living on a small farm abutting the Eel River. I learned the worth of work while we supported ourselves with a garden, orchard, dairy cows, an annual slaughter, and an occasional bass or catfish. We weren’t poor. We just never had any money.”
photography provided by Rich Voorhees