This book, which was an alternate selection for my Third Tuesday book club, has been described as a “haunting memoir,” which, indeed, it is. It is a true story of loss: loss of Rozelle’s father, and the loss of his father’s memory.
The title comes from Dylan Thomas’ famous poem, which begins…
“Do not go gentle into that good night…Rage, rage against the dying of the light”…and ends “And you, my father, there on the sad height , Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray. / Do not go gentle into that good night./Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”
The father, who is the subject of Rozelle’s eulogy/memoir/biography is a principled man who for most of his career was a principal. Rozelle expresses the hope at the end of the book that his father had “gone to a place of order and kindness. Judging from Rozelle’s memories of his father, that’s the exact kind of person the man was–one of order and kindness. The memories of the author’s coming of age years and later are set in Oakwood, a small town near San Antonio, Texas. Rozelle lives now a “few miles down highway 35” from where I live in a town called Lake Jackson, Texas. Because he was a local writer, and because he had spoken at our Alvin Library League luncheon once (I was unable to attend.), I chose his book to read for that particular month. I am very glad I did because not only was it a good story of a good man’s life written by a loving son, but it was a superbly written one.