Lessons in our youth are often the ones that dictate the path we choose. Everyone has those lessons, either good or bad, but something that shapes our life.
In The Bad, The Good and Two Fly Fishing Women, Amanda, an attorney, now looks back at the formative years of her life and the special bond that helped her become the successful person she is. Having grown up with her father after her mother left and nurtured by her grandmother, Amanda has fond memories of the years gone by. She often looks back to one special day in her life when many things happened that changed her life forever.
Her grandparents were avid fly fishermen; her grandfather had actually died on the pond. Her grandmother was her confidant and her best friend, and Amanda spent a great deal of time with her learning the art of fly-casting. Amanda’s young life changed in an instant when her grandmother was diagnosed with cancer. She no longer spent her free time on the water fishing she stayed near her sickbed, keeping her company. When her grandmother gave Amanda her fly reel and shooed her on her way to more fishing, Amanda reluctantly agreed. She took her beloved dog and spent numerous hours wrestling with the fish. It was at this time she met the fish of her dreams, the one that always got away.
The beauty and delicacy of the catch, the danger of losing such a prize made Amanda come to a decision; if she could only land it she would let it go. It was about the mastery, and if she were capable of this, she would be forever grateful.
One morning, getting ready for school, Amanda is surprised to find her grandmother up and dressed in her fishing gear. Concerned, Amanda wants to skip her schooling and keep her grandmother safe. Laughing, her grandmother assures her she was more than capable, and as Amanda hugs her to be on her way; she felt the gun her grandmother was carrying. When asking about it her grandmother reminds her that a woman on her own could never be too careful. In school, Amada keeps thinking back to her conversation, and a feeling that something was wrong. Unable to concentrate and worried now, she leaves her school and tries to find her grandmother.
It is a day of danger and even stranger happenings. She runs into an old man, down on his luck and a friend of her grandmother, and when Amanda sees he has her grandmother’s fishing reel she understands her feeling of dread. Why would her grandmother give away something so dear? Shock and dismay become the tone of the day, and the old man too learns a lesson from Amanda, as he becomes her protector through this dangerous and gruesome day. Can she find her grandmother before the unimaginable happens? Can a young girl survive the real dangers that lurk in the woods?
Kadish has carved a wonderful story full of antics that any true angler would love. His characters are fun and bold, mercurial and fast somewhat like the fish themselves. Amanda is a brave young girl, searching for a hold in a world that has crumbled. Abandoned by her mother, the only other female figure in her life is her grandmother. When she is diagnosed with cancer, Amanda’s life further erodes. The fishing soothes her feeling; the continual casting of the fly-fishing that keeps her mind from the worrisome illness of her beloved grandmother.
Her grandmother is a wonderful character. She is someone we would all like to know, and she too is knowledgeable about fishing. It is the tie that binds their family. This is a wonder character driven book that just happens to be about fishing. This is a short story, full of bravado and a bit of cunning.
If you love fishing and especially fly fishing, you will enjoy this wholesome family story. It takes you back to a time before innocence is changed and the times where a child is still unafraid to speak their mind.