Title: The Keeper of Dawn
Author: J.B. Hickman
Synopsis: 15-year-old Jacob Hawthorne comes from a wounded past. With a self-absorbed mother, an estranged father, and an older brother on the other side of the world, only the unlikely friendship with his grandfather can lure Jacob back home. But home feels like a distant memory from the shore of Raker Island, the isolated campus of one of the Northeast’s elite prep schools.
As the surrogate bonds of a cloistered all-boys school fall into place, Jacob finds himself among other sons of privilege who suffer the same affliction—growing up in their fathers’ shadow. The old adage—the sons of great men rarely attain greatness—haunts these boys as they try to redefine themselves in the wake of lives left behind on the mainland. In fact, Jacob and his friends get dubbed “the Headliners” when their fathers make the headlines on the same day. Among them is Chris Forsythe, the rebellious son of a high-profile politician whose helicopter arrival sparks jealousy among the school’s upperclassmen.
Wellington Academy has been selected to host that fall’s senatorial debate, and Chris’ father is one of the candidates. Chris convinces Jacob—who is among the students selected to question the candidates on live television—to expose his father for embezzling money to finance his reelection campaign. Only Mr. O’Leary, Wellington’s inquisitive history teacher, stands in the way of Chris’ influence over Jacob. He alone can stop the inevitable head-on father-son collision that Chris is guiding Jacob toward. But when tragedy strikes, Jacob is forced to journey into the past to reclaim a well-guarded family secret.
Praise for The Keeper of Dawn
Kathryn Cunningham - Amazon Top 500 Reviewer Vine Voice
Parts of this novel are reminiscent of 'A Separate Peace' (also about boys facing truths at a prep school). But I was also reminded of the 2002 film 'The Emperor's Club', which has a lot to say about fathers and sons (Jake's friend Chris is very much like that film's Sedgewick Bell, whose pranks were always more memorable than his scholastic achievement). Hickman's novel, however, surpasses both of these works in profound ways. I think I will remember Jake Hawthorne forever.
Tracy Terry - Petty Witter Blog Site - U.K.
A well written, insightful and emotionally charged debut novel, somehow all the more remarkable for, almost without exception, its characters are all male. This is a book about people and relationships, though in many ways I would also describe it as a mystery. Even though something momentous was hinted at from the beginning, the reader is kept in suspense as to just what this might be until the end.
Kathi Holmes, Author
This is not my type of book. I like murder mysteries and courtroom dramas. But once I started reading 'The Keeper of Dawn', each chapter captured my attention until I couldn't put it down. I'm glad I did because the ending is very revealing. I believe this is just the beginning of a long writing career for Hickman.
Amazon Reviews (UK)
Tribute Books Author Interview
Author Biography: The Keeper of Dawn is J.B Hickman’s debut novel. He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota with his wife and daughter.
Learn more at http://www.jbhickmanonline.com