The Flamingo Rising Author:Larry Baker In this touching, hilarious novel of the heart and mind, of dreams and memory, of desire and first love, Abe Lee comes of age in the 1960s, living with his unforgettable family at the Flamingo Drive-In Theatre on a scrubby patch of coast between Jacksonville and St. Augustine, Florida. There, some of America's last sweet moments of innocence are... more » unfolding.
For Abe's father, Hubert, there's nothing better than presenting larger-than-life Hollywood fantasies on his vast silver screen. Nothing, that is, except gleefully sparring with Turner West--a funeral home operator who doesn't much appreciate the noise and merriment from the drive-in next door. Within the lively orbit of this ongoing feud is Abe's mother, Edna Marie, whose calm radiance conceals deep secrets; his sister, Louise, who blossoms almost too quickly into a stunning, willful young woman; and Judge Lester, a clumsy man on the ground who turns graceful when he takes to the sky, towing the Flamingo banner behind his small plane. Then Abe falls for Turner's beautiful daughter Grace. That's when, long before the Fourth of July festivities, the fireworks really begin. . . .« less
Abraham Issac Lee was lives in, not at but in, the Flamingo, the largest drive-in theater in the world. At least in 1960. His father built it along an Atlantic Ocean beach in Florida and next to the Turner West Funeral Home. The lives and characters in the book do not move much beyond these places.
This is a powerful coming of age novel that includes angst, humor, and most other emotions usually associated with this genre. The characters are real. The story believable. The ending heart-stopping. I had never heard of it before reading it and I don't know why. It goes on my very short list of favorites with a five star rating.