by Julie Morse
Caleb J. Ross explores the nihilistic underbelly culture of the American Midwest in his latest novel I Didn’t Mean to be Kevin. It is a reverse coming-of-age story in which Jackson Jacoby and the friends he makes each attempt to uncover a childhood they never had. Jackson embarks on a road trip from Kansas to Delaware in search ofa mother who is looking for her son, Kevin Mason. Jackson is lost and ferociously defensive, yet aching to be nurtured.
The novel is full of abandonment and desperation. Jackson wears both these qualities valiantly and his traveling companions – either physically disfigured or motherless – all contain a similar despair. Continue reading