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February 26, 2014


Then Like the Blind Man banner

Orbie's Story 
Freddie Owens
 Then Like The Blind Man: Orbie's Story
Paperback, 324 pages
Published November 15th 2012
 ISBN 1475084498
 (ISBN13: 9781475084498)
(from Goodreads)

A storm is brewing in the all-but-forgotten back country of Kentucky. And, for Orbie Ray, the swirling heavens may just have the power to tear open his family’s darkest secrets. Then Like The Blind Man: Orbie’s Story is the enthralling debut novel by Freddie Owens, which tells the story of a feisty wunderkind in the segregated South of the 1950s, and the forces he must overcome to restore order in his world. Evocative of a time and place long past, this absorbing work of magical realism offered with a Southern twist will engage readers who relish the Southern literary canon, or any tale well told.
Nine-year-old Orbie has his cross to bear. After the death of his father, his mother Ruby has off and married his father’s coworker and friend Victor, a slick-talking man with a snake tattoo. Now, Orbie, his sister Missy, and his mother haven’t had a peaceful moment with the heavy-drinking new man of the house. Orbie hates his stepfather more than he can stand; a fact that lands him at his grandparents’ place in Harlan’s Crossroads, Kentucky.
Orbie grudgingly adjusts to life with his doting Granny and carping Granpaw, who are a bit too keen on their black neighbors for Orbie’s taste, not to mention their Pentecostal congregation of snake handlers. And, when he meets the black Choctaw preacher, Moses Mashbone, he learns of powers that might uncover the true cause of his father's death. As a storm of unusual magnitude descends, Orbie happens upon the solution to a paradox at once magical and ordinary. Question is, will it be enough?
Equal parts Hamlet and Huckleberry Finn, it’s a tale that’s rich in meaning, socially relevant, and rollicking with boyhood adventure. The novel mines crucial contemporary issues, as well as the universality of the human experience while also casting a beguiling light on boyhood dreams and fears. It’s a well-spun, nuanced work of fiction that is certain to resonate with lovers of literary fiction, particularly in the Southern tradition of storytelling.

Purchase at AMAZON


SETTING: Kentucky
Late 50's
The main character is a 10 year old boy named Orbie.This is Orbie's story and is told in first person by Orbie. Orbie has a heart full of love and determination. His buddies, Willis, who is a disable young back boy and Moses was a God fearing man. There are others who are part of the story.  Usually there is one character that you just can't stand and in this story the character was Orbie's stepfather, Victor stepped in after the death of Orbie's father. Victor begins to date Orbie's mother, Ruby and eventually marries her. Ruby and Victor decided they  had no time for a nine year old boy who had an "attitude". So they dropped him of at Ruby's parents' house in Kentucky.  They promised to come back after they'd settled in Florida. Orbie's younger sister went with Mom and Step-Dad.  Orbie handles problems with an adult's maturity.  Way beyond his young years. Orbie had some problems with some of the black people he came in contact with.  He begins to call them the "n" word.  This probably was instilled in Orbie because his mother was prejudiced.It may have taken a while but Obie comes to the conclusion that his grandparents really love him.  They may not have been formally educated but they were wise about living on a farm and also the human nature.
The author, Mr. Owens wrote an awesome book that was a combination of realism, Spirituality, Magical.  The book keeps your attention from the cover to the last page.  Mr. Owens is talented to hold a reader's attention throughout the entire book.  A sure sign of a good book.
This book is one I can honestly recommend  to anyone who enjoys a different kind of novel.
the author, Mr. Owens gives the reader a lot of mixed emotions to deal with.  You feel sorry for Orbie,  dumped and forgotten on his grandparent's steps. The author works in the eventual  realization of Orbie that he was now in a loving, happy home, with positive influences .
There were other characters introduced in the book. To name a few, the humpbacked elderly lady named Bird; Moses Mashbone; Mrs. Profit and Nealy Harlan. Slowly through the book you see the changes Orbie goes through. Will Orbie become an important part of the farm or will her go to the
 city ?
Will he reconcile with his mother?  Will Victor and himself become friends?
 Will Orbie overcome the abandonment when he was a child?   Is he capable of forgiving them?
I will leave the rest to you.  So if you loved Huck Finn, Tom Sawyer, To Kill a Mockingbird then why not give Freddie Owen's THEN LIKE THE BLIND MAN a read.?  the author did a wonderful job of character descriptions and fitting them into the plot.  He showed how a young person sometimes has to take on more adult responsibilities than he should.  With faith, you can leave the bad things behind and start living.  Lessons to be learned.
I would give this book 4  LIGHTENING BOLTS.    Lightning Bolt Clip ArtLightning Bolt Clip ArtLightning Bolt Clip ArtLightning Bolt Clip Art
I was given a complimentary copy of THEN LIKE THE BLIND MAN by Freddie Owens from PUYB for my honest opinion.  No other compensation took place.

Giveaway 5
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive the Kindle Fire HD.
  • This giveaway begins January 24 and ends March 28.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on Monday, March 31, 2013.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!


Freddie OwensAUTHOR
A poet and fiction writer, my work has been published in Poet Lore, Crystal Clear and Cloudy, and Flying Colors Anthology. I am a past attendee of Pikes Peak Writer's Conferences and the Association of Writers and Writing Programs, and a current member of Lighthouse Writer's Workshop in Denver, Colorado. In addition, as a professional counselor and psychotherapist, I for many years counseled perpetrators of domestic violence and sex offenders, and provided therapies for individuals and families. I hold a master’s degree in contemplative psychotherapy from Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. Born in Kentucky and raised in Detroit, I drew inspiration for my first novel, Then Like The Blind Man: Orbie's Story, from childhood experiences growing up around Harlan’s Crossroads, Kentucky. My life-long studies of Tibetan Buddhism and Vedanta not to mention my encounters with Native American Shamanism are also of note in this regard.

Freddie Owens made a comment in the group THE JAMES MASON COMMUNITY BOOK CLUBWhy even write? topic
" I write in hopes that by doing so I'll further establish (if to no one else but myself) that I exist, that I am real - that the story of 'me' as writer will be bolstered somehow by the writing of stories - that the illusion that is 'me' will not be seen by that which on occasion really does see. If by some chance a story I write fails to obfuscate, I might (if alert) consider it a form of grace; a kindness proffered not by words but by what is beyond them. I should say then that I write for a chance at grace too. I'm speaking for myself, of course, which at this point is somewhat fishy. Take it with a grain of salt therefore when I say that writing is bondage to dream, deadly or lovely - to self image, to brand (however eccentric) and to platform. It entertains. It awes. It seduces. It lies. It tells the truth. Sometimes it even surprises. I suppose that's what I cherish more than anything else really - to be surprised."


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