Retired priest writes coming of age novel

A Summer Remembered — the Lake Bradford Hotel 1947 is the Rev. Bob Libby’s fourth published book, but his first work of fiction.

It is based loosely on the author’s experience while working at a vacation hotel in Vermont at age 16.

The book’s opening line reads: “If Cooper Dawkins’ parents weren’t going to live together anymore, then he wasn’t going to be their little boy anymore.” Peeling potatoes and scrubbing pots and pans for an alcoholic chef who hates Jews and thinks Hitler had some good ideas, isn’t exactly what Cooper had in mind. Not only that, but he found himself in competition with returning WWII veterans of the “greatest generation.”

Cooper soon discovers that becoming an adult involves much more than dealing with hormonal changes. He has to deal with violent anti-Semitism, cultural and religious differences, attempted murder, bullying, harassment, death of a close friend, a broken home — not to mention the eternal adolescent question: “Who am I?”

While Father Libby said he did not intentionally write A Summer Remembered as a religious book, he discovered on rereading his manuscript that it has a subtle theme of forgiveness and reconciliation, which were the subjects of his earlier books.

Much to Father Libby’s delight he is getting enthusiastic feedback from the college generation.

“I couldn’t put it down,” said Trey Brooks, a University of North Florida senior. “I didn’t ever imagine that you had to go through that stuff, too.”

The Rev. Bob Libby lives on Key Biscayne with his wife, Lynne, a wellknown local artist.

Father Libby moved to Key Biscayne in 1990 to serve as the rector and headmaster of St. Christopher’s by the Sea Episcopal Church and Montessori School. After retiring in 1998, he was recalled to active duty to be the interim dean of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Miami. In retirement he has served as a cruise ship chaplain on the Queen Elizabeth 2 and travels around the country speaking in behalf of Food for the Poor. His website is <www.boblibby.com>.

Born on Long Island, NY, he attended Georgia Tech, received an AB degree from Emory University, served as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean War and now holds two graduate degrees from University of the South.

A Summer Remembered may be purchased at the Book Store in the Grove, The Island Shop on Key Biscayne and the Trinity Episcopal Cathedral Book Store as well as on Amazon and for Kindle eBooks.

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