The Lake of Gold by Randolph Parrish – Book Review

The Lake of Gold by Randolph Parrish
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Alt="the lake of gold"The Lake of Gold by Randolph Parrish

An orphan from New York is given 60 days to go West and find a legendary treasure, in order to pay off some debts to a criminal syndicate. If he fails, his life and the lives of others may be forfeit. But he isn’t the only one interested in finding the treasure, and they may stop at nothing to get it for themselves.

Book review:

The Lake of Gold by Randolph Parrish is a compelling young adult historical fiction story that follows an orphan’s heart-breaking story and his risky, urgent journey out West.

For years, Jacob has lived under Bellow’s command. Though he cannot understand how an abusive, uncaring man like Bellow became his father, having nowhere to go and knowing no better, Jacob is forced to live with him. Bellow’s debt to a powerful figure who runs their side of New York has plunged them into a vicious cycle of destitution. His desperate attempt to track every coin that they make is captured in dramatic, saddening scenes. In a suspenseful twist in the plot, Jacob is kidnapped, an event that later presents a slim chance of freedom for him and Bellow. Jacob and Bellow live in a dilapidated part of the city. Though he is surrounded by opportunistic men, Jacob’s selflessness remains untarnished. He is also intelligent. Jacob’s journey to Arizona in the search for gold is dotted with many close calls. One wrong move and he knows he could end up dead. Regardless of the risk, Jacob remains undeterred.

Parrish’s character development is impressive that even though the work is brief, supporting characters have compelling background stories and play key roles in the book. Witty, entertaining details are inserted in between scenes which makes the scenes livelier. The book remains concise, only including details that are significant in moving the story forward. Randolph Parrish has incredible storytelling ability and a remarkable expressive writing style.

The Lake of Gold by Randolph Parrish is a succinct story with many gripping moments. It is a thoroughly captivating and entertaining story from start to finish. Kids Lit Book Café highly recommends The Lake of Gold by Randolph Parrish.

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