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12 June, 2008
Book Review: Keeper and Kid by Edward Hardey
Read and reviewed for Front Street Reviews
When Jim Keeper receives a call out of the blue from his ex-wife Cynthia’s mother, the last thing he expects to hear is that she is in the hospital. Jim drops everything to drive up to Boston to find out what the favor he has been told she needs to ask him is. A week later, when going to pick up what used to be their dog Arrow, Jim is faced with a huge problem that he was not expecting.
It’s been four years since He and Cynthia divorced, a little over three years since he had seen her last. His life in those years has changed significantly. He now lives in Providence, and is partner in a two man salvage shop. He spends his days looking for buyers of the stuff his partner and best friend Tim finds (everything from old mantelpieces salvaged from houses that have been demolished to antique toys), and running their warehouse. He has also just moved into a house with Leah, his current girlfriend.
Cynthia has passed away, and rather than going home with the dog he was expecting, he is introduced to Leo. Suddenly he is finding himself father to a three year old, whom he wasn’t even aware he had. Jim finds himself transporting home a toddler, and his belongings. He cannot fathom what has just happened, and can not figure out how to break the news to Leah.
His life becomes one of introduction to this small child who speaks of strange kid things such as the tv show Kipper, and who only eats round foods. Everywhere he turns, his small home he had been making with his girlfriend Leah is over run with bright colored toys, and child sized clothing. He is struggling to survive as a single parent, learning to cope with daily childcare and toilet training. Through all this, there is an urgency to get Leo integrated into the life he had, and to convince Leah to give him and Leo another chance.
Keeper and Kid is a warm and sweet story of a man and child thrown headfirst into each others lives. Edward Hardy has created an engaging look into life, as a new parent, as a single parent, and the receipt of an unexpected gift. Jim Keeper, a man who never thought about children in his life grows through the story. I found myself immersed in the book, and quickly sped through it to find out how Jim, Leo, and Leah survive the shock of being thrown together so suddenly.