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Friday, March 14, 2008

Keeper and Kid

Jimmy Keeper has a good life going for himself. In his mid-thirties, Keeper, veteran of an amiable divorce, has just purchased a little house with his live-in girlfriend Leah and is making ends meet pretty successfully in a no-pressure job helping his best friend run an antiques salvage business. He loves Leah, he loves his job, and he loves the circle of friends he plays poker with every week. But things change.

All it took to change Keeper’s life forever was one phone call telling him that his ex-wife Cynthia wanted to see him from her hospital bed. The call may have been unexpected, but what really blew Keeper’s mind was the news he received a few days later that Cynthia had unexpectedly died in the hospital. But even then his biggest surprise was yet to come: news that Keeper was the father of Cynthia’s three-year old son, product of the one last fling they had before Keeper met Leah, and a little boy he had not known even existed.

What happens when Jimmy Keeper is immediately given full legal custody of his son Leo is both funny and touching. Keeper and Kid is the tale about what a man who can barely take care of himself, a man who in many ways does not seem ready even at his age for adult responsibilities, goes through when he is given sole responsibility for a little guy who both needs and demands his attention twenty-four hours a day. Keeper suddenly realizes that there is no time off for good behavior and that his day now centers on the needs of his son. And he is almost as unhappy about his new situation as Leah was when she took one brief look at Leo and decided to end her relationship with Keeper.

Any man, and I suspect more than a few women, who has suddenly found himself the sole caretaker of a small child will understand why Jimmy Keeper felt so totally helpless within hours of having taken custody of his son, a little boy who will eat only round food, has a great vocabulary, is terrified of cats, loves to stay up late, gets up at the crack of dawn, wets and soils his pants because of the trauma of losing his mother and who hides things to punish people. Keeper is just not ready for Leo.

Edward Hardy has created an interesting mix of characters and it is difficult not to root for Keeper in his quest to get Leah back while learning to cope with the demands of fatherhood. In the process, Keeper learns a lot about himself, his family, his friends and especially his former sister-in-law. Let’s just say that the three-year old is not the only one who starts to grow up in Keeper and Kid. This one is fun.

Rated at: 4.0

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