Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Matter of Conscience: Redemption of a Hometown Hero, Bobby Hoppe by Sherry L. Hoppe

A Matter of Conscience: Redemption of a Hometown Hero, Bobby HoppeA Matter of Conscience: Redemption of a Hometown Hero, Bobby Hoppe by Sherry L. Hoppe
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The book has an excellent premise...because it's true. The life and times of Bobby Hoppe is one of those moments where clearly real life is far better than fiction; or in his case, more interesting. Sherry Hoppe, his now widow, tells his story through her memory of what it was like to live with and love this man tormented by a secret that ravaged him for years.

The prose is well written and the court transcripts are told in great detail (sometimes too much, but I assume necessary). I cannot fathom living with this kind of burden for as long as they both did. They only portion of the text I took some umbrage with were the unnecessary literary quotes. They are sprinkled throughout the book and if one was not well-read, they would have not made sense. There are times, in the context of the full story quoted, they actually did not make sense. I appreciate the author's knowledge of literature, but felt it did not enhance the story of her late husband.

The novel:

In July on 1957, Bobby Hoppe was home from Auburn enjoying some time off from his legacy football stardom. He'd been out on date and was heading home when a dark car encroached on him in the night. At first he thought it was some of his old friends just being "boys" but when the drive aimed a pistol at him, the night took a devastating turn. The man with the gun was his sister's former - a well known whiskey runner at the time. Shots were fired and the rest becomes history. In fear, Hoppe fled the scene, but thirty one years later, his past resurfaced in a indictment for first-degree murder. Considering the amount of time that had passed, witnesses were scarce (if alive), police records misplaced, and memories faded like sun-bleached chairs in the summer sun.

Sherry and Bobby Hoppe had to reveal the secret they'd lived with for years: Bobby Hoppe, despite his football fame and beloved coach reputation, had killed a man in 1957.

The novel tells the story of what really happened that night...and a ending that shocks the nation.


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