The book in one sentence: Mysterious Shane walks into the life of Bob Starrett’s family in a small, growing area of farmers and changes the lives of the people around before mysteriously disappearing.
Who would you recommend it to: People who like to watch western movies. There was even a western movie based on this book.
Best bits: How Shane never disappoints Bob’s hero-worship of him, even if it means lying to him.
Boring bits: Just the descriptive parts.
‘Do you think I don’t know, Marian?’
‘But you don’t. Not really. You can’t. Because I don’t know myself.’
Father was staring over her head at the kitchen walls not seeing anything there. ‘Don’t fret yourself. Marian. I’m man enough to know a better when his trail meets mine.’
‘Bobby! Bobby boy! What are you doing here?’
‘I’ve been here all along,’ I blurted out. ‘You’ve got to tell me. Was that Wilson–‘
He knew what was troubling me. He always knew. ‘Wilson,’ he said, ‘was mighty fast. As fast as I’ve ever seen.’
‘I don’t care,’ I said, the tears starting, ‘I don’t care if he was the fastest that ever was. He’d never have been able to shoot you, would he? You’d have got him straight, wouldn’t you–if you had been in practice?’
He hesitated a moment. He gazed down at me and into me and he knew. He knew what goes on in a boy’s mind and what can help him stay clean inside through the muddled, dirtied years of growing up.
‘Sure. Sure, Bob. He’d never even have cleared the holster.’
Verdict: It’s a bittersweet story that will leave you with a lump in your throat.