SAVING SUPERMAN is a poignant tale about a young boy and a man in the woods who become unlikely friends and heroes, helping one another through their traumas. Together they unlock a secret that ultimately frees the boy’s mother and father from their own darkness and unites their family once more.
The story opens with Pete on the run and suddenly lost in the woods, facing a bear. No. It’s not a bear, but a disheveled man who offers Pete shelter in his cabin, providing him with food and a place to hide out for a couple of days. Jake teaches Pete how to fish and Pete opens up to Jake about his life. Jake, a soldier who has returned from Europe, is supportive and doesn’t seem very different from Pete, except for the screaming at night, when Jake is taken over by night terrors.
Pete is a regular boy, almost eleven. But his life is falling apart. His mother has lost her baby and is in a state of severe depression in a home. Pete’s father is a World War II veteran, angry, emotionally lost and working endless hours to make ends meet. Pete’s sister and his grandmother do their best to deal with the bottled up emotions but are ineffective at best. When Pete finally returns home, tensions rise and unravel a mystery that must finally be addressed and treated.
Author Kathleen Sales characters are fully actualized and sympathetic. Sales deftly examines the insidious effects of psychological trauma in the lives of a family, exposing the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, dangers and, ultimately the cathartic effects of treatment. Sales’ story is beautifully simple and sensitive, with clear language and flowing pace that entices the reader and holds onto them through the organic exploration of how each character manifests and handles their trauma.
SAVING SUPERMAN is a powerful story with haunting insight into how children and grown ups perceive and respond to trauma of many varieties. An unforgettable and timely reading experience today’s culture.
Reviewed by Maya Fleischmann for IndieReader.