By: Conrad Bishop & Elizabeth Fuller Publisher: WoodWorkers Press Publication Date: June 2018 ISBN: 978-0-9997287-0-3 Reviewed by: Amy Lignor Review Date: June 2018
In Northern California, a place that offers the colorful growth of flowers, a stage blossoms as well. Or, at least, it did. Here is a place built by a husband and wife team that allows others to enjoy the world of imagination. The male part of this duo, a puppeteer and writer by the name of Albert Fisher, is dealing with pain and loneliness. His wife, Lainie, was lost to him, passing away in the early morning hours while in a coma. Albert is currently working on putting together a new play and attempting to mold the puppets that will be the stars of the show; although one is giving him a great many problems. He heads down to the local coffee shop where he 'people watches,' and he continues to write about one person who was a hero to a great many. A hero who appeared on paper doing incredible things, which calls for a true hero’s soul to “show” through the eyes of this puppet.
Sir Galahad is that character and, a bit like the beloved “Monty Python,” Albert’s attempting to write a humorous tale in regards to Galahad and his new quest. As much as Albert utilizes this new show that he’s putting together as a form of healing – now that the anniversary of the death of his wife is almost upon him – Albert also uses this play and this character as something to throw himself into…something that allows him to almost “be” the aging Galahad in this tale.
Sir Galahad, to Albert, has given up the days of horsing around and is now settled, married, growing older, and living in a ranch-style castle with his beautiful wife. Albert “lives” through Galahad, giving the hero who was one who never lost faith, a look at real life and the traumas that can come from it. What he doesn’t know right off the bat is that Sir Galahad, in return, will be the path that brings the spark of belief back to a man who has been hurt by life, itself.
Readers take quite a trek with Albert and Galahad, learning about Albert’s “Lost Boy” moments and his days while growing up in Iowa. They will see Albert wrestle with his feelings, try to regain the imagination and need for both his life and the play, while Galahad forms an army and a Fool switches places with a woman in order to help form a kinship between the characters. You also meet a costumer by the name of Jeanette that adds yet another layer to Albert.
The writers of this tale, a husband and wife duo, offer scenes of perfection when it comes to backstage life, making the scents and sounds of the playhouse world jump off the pages. Not to mention, the nuggets of wonder provided by characters when asking questions such as whether or not people have to be fools in order to believe in the magic of faith. Galahad wore armor and Albert wears irony, which is certainly a form of armor many of us clothe ourselves in. And watching Albert relieve himself of burdens and learn how to bring back the soul in both a puppet’s eyes as well as his own can and will take your breath away.
Quill Says: There is emotion in this book that is done so well, there’s no doubt you will read it again and again.