I am privileged to personally know many extremely talented and intelligent people. I am amazed at the creativity that exists inside so many people. One of those people is Carey Rowland, author of his first novel, Glass Half Full.
Carey and his wife Pat have been friends and mentors to my husband and I throughout our marriage and before, and they are such delightful people, as are their three children whom we watched grow into amazing adults.
“Carey is a baby boomer who got together with his wife, Pat, in 1980. Working together and enjoying life they brought three new babies into the world: Micah (1981), Kim (1982)who took the cover photo, and Katie (1984). They raised the kids in Boone, North Carolina, which is on the Blue Ridge. After Micah, Kim, and Katie went off to school and graduated from Duke and UNC, Carey decided to become a teacher.
So he studied education at Appalachian State University (thrice National Champion of FCS football),to obtain licensure to teach high school English, middle school language arts and social studies. Having obtained licensure in December,2006, he is individually teaching very special students at Hardin Park School in Boone. In between completion of education courses and actually teaching, he had some extra time while Pat was busy as a nurse in ICU (you’d like to meet her, but not as a patient there) so he decided to write Glass half-Full
In the two novels you’ll occasionally find a run-on sentence or sentence fragment so that he can claim to be among the ranks of modern writers who flaunt their rejection of conventional grammar and such for the sake of dramatic effect, thus employing the stream-of-consciousness technique, but only in limited amounts, because that is only one literary device in any writer’s bag of tricks. Carey’s bag also includes a circular saw and a hammer, because he spent the last 25 years or so working as a carpenter and subliminally planning the book in his head, although he certainly didn’t know it at the time.”
“There is something that must be said.This is not a cute story. The lessons of history are many, but among them is this important principle:
Life is not about what happens to us; it’s about our responses to what happens. So, what’s truly important for each one of us is:
- the choices we make, and
- our responses to the unexpected results of those choices.
There’s a gathering place in this novel; it’s a restaurant—the Jesse James Gang Grille, a family-run business. The people in this story frequently gravitate to the place to satisfy their longings for good food and friends.”
Reading this book, I was immediately struck with the descriptive nature of Carey’s style. Each situation in Glass Half Full is presented in such detail that the reader feels as if he/she is there. I also had an occasional chuckle as I encountered one of Carey’s whimsical made-up words. For example, as Daniel gets into a car accident, and begins to “survey the bumperly mess that his inattention had inflicted.” His intelligent humor is evident throughout the book.
Glass Half-Full is packed with rich vocabulary and intricate story lines. I would describe the book as “character-driven” more than “action-driven,” and he takes every opportunity to wax philisophical, offering commentary on history, religion and the human condition. Personally knowing Carey, and what a deep thinker he is, I enjoyed taking a view into his perspective on life. The complex characters in the book go through difficult life situations, and it would be hard to read this book without one of them really tugging your heart-strings.
In one particularly poignant passage describes a woman’s feeling when she feels the call to care for an orphan girl:
“So she had no answers for the child. She simply responded: when the small child extended her hand in need of something unexplained, Brigit gently held it, in need of something unexplained.
They had been thrown together by a simple twist of fate. Or was it? Could we not as easily say they had been tossed together by some design? Well… thinks the fatalist… What designer would arrange such a mishap… murder of a young woman by her depraved boyfriend, resulting in an orphan. Yes, but… says the designed one… a Designer who included freedom as a working principal in unfolding events… must tolerate such disruptive rapacity. By such descrepancy, choice for meaningful works, labors of love, is passed to others. To care for an orphan is true religion.“
Glass Half-Full is available in many outlets, including Amazon, and check out www.CareyRowland.com for more information about Carey and his novels. His second novel, Glass Chimera, in progress, is actually published on his website, and Carey invites feedback and suggestions.
You can also find free downloads of Carey’s original music at the website as well. North Carolinians might be interested in Carey’s song, North Carolina is My Home, a folk-y tribute to the Tarheel State.