Echoes From the Hollow

Echoes From the Hollow by [Don Roberts]

This week’s other featured books, “The Golden Key of Gangotri,” by Eyal N. Danon and “Snapshots,” by Don Tassone, can be found by scrolling down below this post, or by clicking the author’s name on our Authors page. The “First Tuesday Replay” will run next week.


THE BOOK: Echoes From the Hollow.


THE AUTHOR: Don Roberts

THE EDITOR: Dixiane Hallaj


SUMMARY: Echoes from the Hollow is a fictional coming-of-age story set in western Pennsylvania during the 1950s. The tale is anchored in the village of Whistler and its nearby Hollow. The first-person story is told through the eyes and voice of Harry Morgan, a young kid who has to make choices and deal with the consequences of bad decisions. Unanticipated danger, sudden death and the threat of eternal damnation are all lurking beneath the veneer of bucolic innocence. Judgmental but often clueless, Harry resolutely makes decisions and reluctantly learns to live with the consequences. He has a passion for knowing everyone’s business, but he is no snitch. Keeping secrets may show loyalty, but at what cost?

Meet his family and learn what PTSD was like for Harry’s father and his family after WW II. Feel the rhythm of country life as you meet the quirky villagers impacting his life. It is a tale full of sound and fury that does mean something: his father’s redemption is possible, and Harry’s resilience sees him through hard times.

THE BACK STORY: I grew up in a small village similar to the one portrayed in the novel. Character traits were drawn from people I knew there and my imagination. E.L. Doctorow said, “Historians tell us what happened. A novelist tells us what it felt like.” I want readers to know what it felt like growing up in the 1950s, through the eyes of a coming-of-age country boy.

WHY THIS TITLE: The Hollow was where terrible things happened — things that would echo in the hearts and minds of some villagers for the rest of their lives.

WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT: It’s a story for adults who wonder about the human condition. The characters and situations are timeless – serving as a reminder of what we can learn from the past. Also, read it for the humor.

While Whistler is a fictional village, there were hundreds, perhaps thousands, of similar villages throughout America in the 1950s. Isabel Allende said to write about “What should not be forgotten.”


I have included three of the thirteen 5-star reviews that are on Amazon.  There were no reviews less than 5-star.

Dexter reviewed a product · Sep 24, 2019 5.0 out of 5 stars A thriller with subtle humor.

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John Doe reviewed a product on July 7, 2019- 5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn’t stop reading

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When you discover a book that tells you about yourself in ways that make you feel you are immediately a part of the story, you are in for a delightful read. Echoes from the Hollow was such a book. About a young boy negotiating life in a small town while beginning to come into his own. His family has dark secrets and yet ably centers him. Surrounded by good people with their own big and small secrets, encountering more than a taste of fundamentalist religion, Harry is a determined, bright, curious and sharply observant boy. He struggles to be good, to find his place in this small town world. He takes joy in a best friend as they share discoveries and later must test their bond. The characters are very alive. The story unfolds with multiple levels of themes that ring true in this author’s tight, clever, very creative writing style. It is a non-stop read. — John Doe.

Paul Schafer reviewed a product on July 12,1919- 5.0 out of 5 stars. Unique Coming of Age Novel

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If you enjoyed The Lord of the Flies, A Separate Peace, Where the Red Fern ( omit Ren) Grows, and other books of that ilk, you are in for a genuine treat. Read Echoes from the Hollow to experience not only the joys and wonders but also the iniquities of growing up in the small village of Whistler, Pennsylvania, during the 1950s. The wholesomeness, the respectability, and the integrity of the inhabitants of Whistler prove to be no match against evil. How the serpent enters and corrupts this Garden of Eden makes for a forceful, intense, and suspense-filled story. Highly recommended

AUTHOR PROFILE: Don Roberts went to a one-room country school and then to a consolidated school district in a nearby town. After graduating from Slippery Rock State College, he taught in Beaver Falls, PA and then went to Venezuela to teach in Maracaibo. After two years, he and his new wife returned to the U.S. where he completed a Master’s Degree in History and then a Ph. D. He taught for thirty-five years in Pittsburgh’s inner-city schools and, at the same time, was a part-time History Lecturer at the University of Pittsburgh. He and his wife, Kay, have lived in Monroeville for the past thirty-five years.

AUTHOR COMMENTS: The story of Harry Morgan and his village are really social history of a time and place in western Pennsylvania. The 1950s are often romanticized. The good old days weren’t always so good, not for everyone.

SAMPLE CHAPTER: See Amazon page.

LOCAL OUTLETS: Borders Books for the Kindle version

WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: Amazon for the paperback or Kindle.

PRICE: Kindle $4.99, paperback $17.95.


Published by


Recently retired after 35 years with the News & Advance newspaper in Lynchburg, VA, now re-inventing myself as a novelist/nonfiction writer and writing coach in Lake George, NY.

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