“All Our Yesterdays” by Forest Bowman

All Our Yesterdays: A Tale of Cunning & Grit

Forest Bowman
Independently Published (2021)
ISBN: 978-1639012701
Reviewed by Ashley Hooker for Reader Views (06/2022)

Forest Bowman has written a tale that could only be told from the mountains of West Virginia. I am not a native West Virginian, but I do live in this majestic state. I have learned in my short time here that these people have a fierce love for their families and know what it takes to survive.

“All Our Yesterdays” is the story of a young boy who is orphaned and sent to live with a horrible family, the Jepson’s. Jehu Jepson would whip Adam viciously for no reason, and his sons, Luke and Paulie were relentless in their physical abuse toward Adam. They hit him in the face, bloodied his nose, and even pulled out Adam’s teeth. This was the breaking point for Adam. He knew he was leaving and began his preparations.

When Adam left the Jepson farm, he boldly walked into the town of Stendhal and asked the owner of Brubaker’s Furniture Mill to become his apprentice. Mr. Brubaker gave Adam a chance and took custody of him from the Jepson’s. Adam was successful at the furniture mill. He became a co-owner upon the death of Mr. Brubaker by using his cunning nature. Adam was running a successful business with his partner Will and their employees Oliver and Tally, but the threats from the Jepson boys were always in the back of Adam’s mind.

When Adam married the love of his life, Sarah, he felt secure with the fate he had been handed. Unfortunately, tragedy strikes, and Adam decides it time Luke and Paulie got what was coming to them. He hatches a plan and carries it out perfectly. The Jepson boys got their comeuppance, and Adam was given the chance to care for the people he loved without fear.

On the back of Bowman’s book, he states the most fundamental human right is the right to be left alone. His main character, Adam, is that human that has lived a hard life and just wants people to treat him with respect. He desires the Jepson boys be disciplined to the full extent of the law. He wants those rogue characters to leave him alone and leave the people of Stendhal alone. The way he chooses to make this happen is not a black and white scenario. He is the model citizen who takes an unassuming route to gain his and everyone in Stendhal the right they deserve.

The story brings the reader to the ethical questions which are, can we do something wrong to make something right? Is it ok to break a few rules if it means we gain something good? There is truly a lot to consider when we look at the choices people make, or even the ones we make, and why we make them.
What I truly loved about this book was how Bowman gives us a character that had every right to hate the world but chooses to love and care for others, anyway. Adam is that man you want on your side. He is the friend we all strive to have in our lives. He is proof that our past may haunt us, but it doesn’t have to define us. Adam tells us that with hard work, creative thinking, and determination, we can reach any goal we have for ourselves.

Overall, I loved “All Our Yesterdays” by Forest Bowman. I could not put it down. At a time when it seems that evil is prevailing in our world, Bowman gives us a refreshing view of society. Adam, Will, Oliver, Tally, and Sarah all remind us that there are good people in the world. Love and friendship can prevail. I highly recommend this book to readers who want a story filled with mystery, action, and friendship.

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