Red on White
Independently Published (2021)
Reviewed by Robert Leon Davis for Reader Views (08/2022)
“Red on White” by author J.P. Biddlecome, is a fascinating journey through the eyes of 15-year-old James Anderson and his quest to survive an earthquake ‘alone’.
Having always dreamed of becoming a farmer in the state of Oregon, James worked as a farm hand to learn the craft up close at a neighbor’s ranch. One sad day, while at work, a massive earthquake occurred, measuring 9.0 on the Richter scale, devastating not only the farm, but the entire city he resided in. The earthquake was then followed by a huge Tsunami killing all the residents, including his beloved parents!
James miraculously survived this devastating event but found himself carried out to sea, drifting on logs and other debris. Eventually, he befriended a stray cat he rescued while floating in the sea; and thus was his only friend in the vast ocean. Alone and frightened, he and the animal washed up on a strange island after many weeks, which was on the island of Hawaii, a long way from home. Eventually, he learned in the end that though his family was deceased, ultimately this journey prepared him for the tough life ahead.
“Red on White” was an absolute pleasure to read. I normally don’t choose fiction of this sort, but as usual, some books I don’t gravitate to usually end up being my best recommendations. This is one of those. The conversations James has with an animal who can’t respond are very soul-searching. His fears are all told to the cat, and he somehow gets comforting assurances through the animal’s silence.
James learned so much from this devastating tragedy about life by questioning life’s “unfairness” and his predicaments through self- reflection. The book is very easy to read, not repetitive, very short, but awakening! Teens will find it a thrilling adventure. It ultimately makes an adult and any reader question what they would do if sudden tragedy were to strike and what would one do pertaining to loneliness. The brilliancy of this book are the questions James asked the cat, what the cat “might” have said, etc. I won’t reveal the conversation so I won’t destroy the plot.
Overall, “Red on White” is an excellent book. Five stars easily!!!