Book ReviewGentlehands

Book Review-Gentlehands

1) What did you notice?

The story Gentlehands takes place in the late 1970’s. This story mostly revolves around one of the main characters named Buddy, who is a middle classed teenager that has is having a relationship with and upper class, older girl, named Skye. Buddy’s chances of impressing Skye on his own are very slim to none so he decides to introduce her to his grandfather, Mr. Trenker. Buddy has not seen his grandfather since he was just a little child because of disputes between Buddy’s parents and Mr.Trenker, so he was not quite sure what to expect from him. Buddy and Skye both come to realize the Mr. Trenker is very educated in many topics and also extremely well mannered. During this same time Mr. De Lucca, a reporter for many newspapers, is living with Skye at the time for unknown reasons. The only reason he is staying in that area is because he is trying to write a story about somebody who used to be a SS officer in WWII with the nickname Gentlehands. At the end of the story grandpa Trenker is the one that is believed to be Gentlehands. When Grandpa Trenker heard of these accusations he ran away to live with a friend of his.
In the story Gentlehands there were a few major characters, including Skye, Buddy, and Grandpa Trenker. Buddy is presented ass a teenager who had few experiences in life and he showed it many times throughout the book. An example of Buddy having only few experiences in life is on page 80, paragraph 7 when buddy was pouring a glass of wine. It said “I put my hand around the bottle and began pouring, and he said, ‘Wait a minute, Buddy.’ ‘What?’ ‘Always grab the bottle of wine by the neck,’ he said, ‘and never fill the glass to the top.” I think that this is a good example because it shows how buddy had very few experiences in life by not knowing how to pour wine. I also thought that he was extremely kind hearted and he also sticks to what he believes in, even though there are overwhelming facts that are against him, which he showed at the end of the book. Grandpa Trenker seemed like a very pleasant person to be with, but as the book goes on it seems like he was only polite because all he wanted to do was make up what he had done in the Holocaust by killing a young girl by ordering a dog to kill her. Skye was also a teenager and seemed to think she knows what is always right for her. She was somebody who knew how someone felt even without them showing it, examples of this are on page 162 last paragraph when Skye says “and I’m telling you right now that I’m going anywhere I feel like going,” She also showed examples of being very giving throughout the story an example of this is when she bough Buddy a blue cashmere sweater.

The book title was very significant in relation to the story. Gentlehands was a poem that a girl in the Holocaust wrote before she died. This is what she wrote:
“I can see your beauty
But you can see mine,
And you have a gun.
The only Music I hear
Is what you play for me.
It is beautiful, too,
But it dose not speak
To you about me.
You listen and Smile.
I wait to die,
And call you Gentlehands.”
In the poem Gentlehands was the SS officer who was the one that killed her. And close to the end of the book you find out that Gentlehands was Grandpa Trenker. I think that a major theme in the story was appearance versus reality. I think that Grandpa Trenker’s appearance was totally different than the reality. He seemed very well mannered, courteous, respectful and also very polite. However he was just acting like that just because he was trying to makeup for what he had done in the past.

2) What do you question?

There are many things that I question about Buddy’s behavior. One thing, which I think Buddy could have done differently, was tell his parents he went to his grandfathers instead of lying to them. Another thing