I recently learned that my high school English teacher, Peter Ferry, penned a novel a few years back. Having just written my own first novel, and having such fond memories of his class, I had to get it. It’s called Travel Writing, and when I looked it up on Amazon, I saw some fabulous reviews. Dave Eggers wrote a great review (another alum of my high school), and being a big fan of his work as well, I quickly dug in.
Well, I just finished it this weekend, and I have to share what a pleasure that was. Travel Writing in a word is clever. In fact, I’ve never read anything like it. Ferry blurs the lines between fiction and reality in a way that made me smile and laugh. The protagonist of the story is Peter Ferry, who, like the author, is an English teacher at Lake Forest High School and a travel writer. It was impossible not to wonder how much of the story was true, which was part of the fun. And though the main character’s primary purpose during the story is related to uncovering the truth behind a car accident he witnesses at the start of the tale, his own journey toward happiness in his private life is what drives the reader toward the finish. And what a finish. I was turning the last several pages as quickly as I possibly could, grinning from ear to ear, marveling at the story’s end.
What is most clear to me after reading Travel Writing, is that although Peter Ferry has retired from his gig at Lake Forest High School, he is still teaching. His command of language and his descriptions are still out of my league, and as someone who aspires to continue down the novelist’s path, and to get better with each effort, I’m so grateful that I found his book. Thanks Mr. Ferry.