Rhodes’ ‘Rock Island Line’ depicts earlier years of Montgomery family

By LARRY BALLWAHN | Wilton

In “Driftless,” July Montgomery arrived, randomly, in Words, Wis., and proceeded to build a life. Thirty years before, author David Rhodes had introduced the Montgomery family and July in the book, “Rock Island Line.” The book details July’s life prior to appearing in “Driftless.”

Since what I like best about Rhodes is his ability at unique description and storytelling, this review will consist of a series of quotations. If the quotations pique your interest, the book is available through your local library.

“Sometimes an old gent would come over, held together by the cracks in his face….”

“He realized Della couldn’t possibly be lying on the pink pillow, which had been his only fear – that somehow everyone was wrong, and she hadn’t been able to get away and was imprisoned inside her dead self.”

“The lush smell of bought, manicured flowers filled the church.”

“The train came, and he nestled in among a large family as they boarded … children at that time were free when accompanied by their parents.”

… he realized the deadly implications of hissituation.”

“Mal Rourke’s parents disapproved of him from the start.”

“… everything he cared to take with him: one change of clothes, a piece of cheese, his Bibleand pictures, a pistol, a diamond on a white gold chain, a ring of keys.”

“As they came in, the police photographers were still taking pictures ….”

Perhaps if you read the book, you can determine why Rhodes was noticed early in his career.

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