Take equal parts high school, love, football, and betrayal. Throw in a dash of death and investigation. Let simmer for at least 20 years. The result is Tumbleweeds by Leila Meacham.
Cathy Benson, Trey Don Hall, and John Caldwell are a classic trio of friends who share their lives, and love, between themselves in their small Texas town. Cathy is prim, proper, and intelligent with designs to become a doctor. Trey Don Hall, a.k.a. TD Hall, has a hot temper, is difficult to dissuade from decisions, and is a star quarterback. John is calm, confident, and TD’s pseudo brother and go-to wide receiver. As the trio matures from eleven year old children into young adults, it’s inevitable that Cathy will choose between her boys. It comes as no surprise that she hooks her wagon to TD since he’s the “bad boy” of the two. But when the boys undertake a questionable endeavor and when Cathy finds that she’s pregnant, Trey reacts poorly and abandons his girl and his pseudo brother. So while Trey makes a go at a pro-football career, Cathy has to set her dreams of being a doctor aside to raise her child, and John enters the priesthood to atone for his sins. But the past is not just in the past, when 22 years later, Trey finally comes home and the shadows of previous actions finally come to light.
The narrative is a saga of overly dramatic proportions. It was difficult to really relate to any of the characters since they were more static cliches than dynamic people. Suspending disbelief and just going with the story, it was mildly entertaining with plenty of prose to work through. With the mystery woven through a story of over 20 years there was plenty of foreshadowing and set ups for mildly perceptive readers to anticipate the story’s trajectory. If you’re in the mood for a melodramatic read that is relatively predictable with characters who don’t show much dynamic action, then you’ve found something with which to pass the time.
Overall, I’d give it a 2.5 out of 5 stars.