Cousin Sonny (An Orphan's Tale, Book 1)
by H.j. Harry
A bush meat orphan ripped from his adopted home where he had lived since infancy. Civilized life has left him years behind those who would be his peers, leaving him to face the cruel lessons of life alone. A bad man does bad things forcing Sonny to flee into the wilderness bordering the city to fend for himself. It is only a matter of time before he is once again thrust into a world of suspicion and hate.
Armed with the knowledge of a language very few know, and unable to speak in his native tongue, Sonny sets off on an adventure of self-preservation armed with only his wits.
Lies and half-truths about what Sonny is has confused the citizens into believing him to be some sort of mutation, warped by the geneticist that he grew up with. In truth, he is probably nothing more than a lonely chimp, shivering from the cold while hiding within the mid-western treetops.
Few will help the poor chimp as fear follows the lies. Yet those who are willing to reach out to Sonny find a deeply personal reward they never even realized they needed.
Rage set the ball in motion, he could only hope that it wasn’t rage that ends it.
I purchased this book from Amazon (Kindle Edition) and gave it 5 out of 5 stars on Amazon and Goodreads.
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I was a little unsure how I would feel about this book. Based on the synopsis and the cover, I knew it was going to be a story about a chimpanzee. Here's a little-known fact about me: I am afraid of primates. They don't freak me out as much as clowns and port-o-potties, but they are up there on my list of irrational fears. So, with that said, maybe you can see why I hesitated to read this. The only reason I chose to is because I have read other work by H.j. Harry and thoroughly enjoyed it.
I am so glad I gave Cousin Sonny a chance! It is written very well, and is truly one-of-a-kind. H.j. Harry tells Sonny's story with undeniable compassion and empathy. He does this so well, I found myself falling in love with the chimpanzee as I read-- in spite of my primateophobia (I made that up).
An incident occurs early in the story that forces Sonny to become a fugitive. As he faces life on the streets and hiding in the city's trees, he must learn to help himself as well as rely on the few kind-hearted people he encounters. The friends he makes while on the run quickly learn that Sonny is loving, intelligent, and fiercely loyal.
I grew to adore many of the characters in the story. They are not without their faults and quirks, but that's probably why I like them. There are some characters who are not good people, but they get what they deserve at some point in the story. Cousin Sonny also offers a bit of intrigue in the form of a couple mysterious characters who show up occasionally in the story. Their identity isn't revealed until the last few chapters.
Since the book finalizes with one loose end, I'm hoping H.j. Harry has a sequel in the works. If so, I will definitely be reading it!
Combine a lovable main character, interesting secondary characters, lots of action and suspense, with a unique story written by a talented story-teller, and you end up with a book like Cousin Sonny: a great read!
Hmm... I wonder... if H.j. Harry wrote a book about a lovable clown, would I change my mind about them?