The Bad, The Good and Two Fly Fishing Women, and a Life-Changing Day on a River

Rated 3.15/5 based on 15 reviews
When Amanda's mother deserts her to be with a new man, Amanda is hurt. She loses faith in the world, especially when her loving grandmother is diagnosed with cancer.

Amanda struggles to find answers, and then on the banks of the Junction River she, along with Shana, her adopted dog, and Vernon, a grieving alcoholic, experience an unexpected, terrifying event that helps her learn to forgive. More

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About Randy Kadish

I'm a native New Yorker. After a good deal of disappointment, I gave up writing. Then my mother passed away, and I found that fishing helped ease my grief. Almost accidently, I wrote and sold a fishing article. Afterwards, my articles and memoirs appeared in many publications, including The Flyfisher, Flyfishing & Tying Journal and Yale Anglers' Journal.

To me, much of my writing is about how the challenges of fishing and the beauty of the outdoors helped me come to terms with loss and with a world I can't always understand. In a sense, my writing is autobiographical, as it reflects my own gratifying, but at times, difficult journey of emotional and spiritual recovery.

On the long road of my journey, I slowly learned that, even when I don't have answers, I must strive to find forgiveness and self-worth and to connect to the good in the world. (This is how I define spirituality.) I therefore love books where the main characters struggle against inner and outer conflicts and then try to do what's right.

My most recent book is, The Way of the River: My Journey of Fishing, Forgiveness and Spiritual Recovery.

Also by This Author

Reviews

Review by: Quentin Stewart on March 03, 2013 : (no rating)
A story of two women and how a day on the river helped them to come to grips with what life had thrown at them and in their own ways they learned how to go on and face the rest of their lives. There is a spirituality in a river that if one slows down and lets it overcome all of their daily cares, it will soothe and comfort a person. That is what the grandmother knew and was on the river alone to achieve, and her granddaughter in her search for her found that comfort and was able to overcome any doubts that had been bothering her and she learned that becoming “famous” (in the eyes of the world) was not all that it was cracked up to be. With fly fishing you must become observant and alert to what is going on around you and on the river. That is the lesson that the young girl learns. Sometimes we must pass up those holes that we want to fish to achieve our goals.

A very interesting a good read.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Shawn Marie Mann on Sep. 09, 2012 :
This story is entertaining as it explains what is going on in a teenage girls head as her life changes around her. The reason I was interested in the book was because of the fly fishing reference in the title.

As a woman fly fisher I was interested to see how fishing fit into this story, especially with the female characters. What I found was though there were some specific references to fly fishing such as types of flies and casting strategies, you really could have put any sport or hobby in its place. I was disappointed that the fishing references weren't better woven into the story. They seemed like a stretch at times.

My favorite character, as with another reviewer, was Vernon. He would be someone I'd want to read more about.

All in all, a decent book.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Nic Nac on Oct. 12, 2011 :
Three and a half stars.

I enjoyed this story. It jumps right into the action and doesn’t belabor on unneeded back story. I liked the characters, the emotional aspect isn’t overdone, and the descriptions are vivid.

Amanda has issues (many) to work through, but as a young girl, that isn’t unusual. This story shows the inner turmoil she feels as well as she deals with abandonment, loss, fear, and forgiveness.

I especially enjoyed her friend straw hat wearing, whiskey drinking friend, Vernon. LOL The author did a fabulous job of character development in such a short story. Vernon, in my opinion, was the star of the show.

I don’t feel you have to be a fly-fisherman to get into this story. There are fly-fishing terms throughout, but they don’t hinder the flow—and taught me a thing a two.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the LibraryThing Member Giveaway. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Nic Nac on Oct. 12, 2011 :
Three and a half stars.


I enjoyed this story. It jumps right into the action and doesn’t belabor on unneeded back story. I liked the characters, the emotional aspect isn’t overdone, and the descriptions are vivid.

Amanda has issues (many) to work through, but as a young girl, that isn’t unusual. This story shows the inner turmoil she feels as well as she deals with abandonment, loss, fear, and forgiveness.

I especially enjoyed her friend straw hat wearing, whiskey drinking friend, Vernon. LOL The author did a fabulous job of character development in such a short story. Vernon, in my opinion, was the star of the show.

I don’t feel you have to be a fly-fisherman to get into this story. There are fly-fishing terms throughout, but they don’t hinder the flow—and taught me a thing a two.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the LibraryThing Member Giveaway. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Mandy Shemery on June 03, 2011 : (no rating)
Cover

I like the photograph, but from the story you get the sense that Amanda is at least a teenager ... not an adult woman like what is depicted on the cover.

Plot/Main Characters

One grandmother, terminally ill with cancer, decides to go fly-fishing one last time before she meets her end. One school girl, sensing something's wrong, leaves school early one day to go home and search for her grandmother. Along the way, she encounters a man who helps her see another side of people and life while another man is intent on hurting her.

In the midst of this is Shana ... Amanda's ever-present companion and protector. Will they find Amanda's grandmother? If so, what exactly will they find when they reach her?

Overall

Despite its short length, the book exemplifies a few familiar addages: Things are not always as they appear, never judge a book by its cover and do not pre-judge a person until you've walked a mile in their shoes.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Monique Mcintosh on May 28, 2011 :
This coming of age long short story is a easy read that deals with
issues that alot of people have to deal with but never admit to.
Amanda's perants split, her grandfather dies, Amanda's feelings are frozen in time.
When her grandmother/best friend/confidant becomes ill.

Randy's style of writing is the type you can become the character and realize what she is thinking
and feeling. The Characters are strong and i enjoyed knowing them

Weather you like fishing or not this piece is about more then that. Its about about reflecting on
the past realizing your mistakes and your not so mistakes.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: singlecoutrygal on May 23, 2011 :
When I first started reading The Bad, The Good and the Two Fly Fishing Women I noticed that this was going to be a story that would change the lives of the those who read it , even if it was in just a very small way. Kadish beautifully portrayed the beautiful relationship between a grandmother and granddaughter. In such a way that I believe many of us have or wished that we had. Kadish also teaches us that time can help heal all wounds, it may not heal completely but the hurt will lessen as time passes by and you learn to forgive but not necessarily forget.


If I had one criticism of this story that would be that besides Amanda and her Grandmother, the rest the characters of this long story are really undeveloped for me. And while I understand that the focus is on the relationship that was cemented through this bonding actability of fly- fishing. I feel that if these other characters where more developed along with their relationship with Amanda. This could not just be a long story but it could easily be turned into a novel if Randy Kadish choose it to do so. That being said I would be one of the first to read it.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Heather@NightlyReading on May 16, 2011 :
Review found at http://www.nightlyreading.wordpresss.com

Randy had emailed me to ask if I would review this story for him, normally, I enjoy paranormal YA, but I decided "sure" . The story was a short read, although, longer than a short story.

The story is told in the first person by Amanda, the main character. She is remembering back to her childhood when her mother had left and her grandmother had stayed with them. The story was mainly about one day in particuliar, June 21st. Amanda's mother was an addict and her parents use to fight all the time. Her mother eventually left without telling where she was going or how to contact her. Amanda had blamed herself thinking that she had done something wrong. Her grandfather had passed away and her grandmother decided to move in and help take care of her. Amanda's family are really into fly fishing and have passed the love for it down to her. Her grandmother teaches her everything she knows. Eventually Amanda's grandmother falls ill with cancer. The rest of the story focuses on one day that Amanda had probably learned more about life in than any other day. It shows her feelings and tells of different characters that she interacts with on this day.

This was a lovely read. It focused on the love of family and how the love of a shared activity can bring a family together and help their memory to live on. Thank you to Randy for sharing this story with me!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: L. A. Wright on May 07, 2011 :
Article first published as Book Review:The Bad, The Good and Two Fly Fishing Women by Randy Kadish on Blogcritics.

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 by Randy Kadish, 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 her, 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 make 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 was surprised to find her Grandmother up and dressed in her fishing gear. Concerned, Amanda wanted to skip her schooling and keep her Grandmother safe. Laughing, her Grandmother assured her she was more than capable, and as Amanda hugged her to be on her way; she felt the gun her Grandmother was carrying. When asking about it her Grandmother reminded her that a woman on her own could never be too careful. In School, Amada kept 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 his grandmother, and when Amanda see’s he has her Grandmother’s fishing creel 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.

This book was received as a free download from the author. All opinions are my own based off my reading and understanding of the material.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Sheila Deeth on April 29, 2011 :
Told in the first person, this long short story jumps straight into the tale with the pleasing voice of a mother looking back on life. Childhood troubles are bluntly, honestly depicted—break-up of parents' marriage, death of a beloved grandparent, a teenager’s feelings that “froze into opposite halves.”
Amanda finds solace in fishing and the love of a dog, but soon her grandmother becomes sick and her fragile security is threatened again. The grandmother speaks wise words of choices and regret, and Amanda heads for the river. The author paints beautifully evocative scenes of water shimmering while birds sing and trout bite. Though I’ve never fished, I feel the pull of the words, the call of the wild. “Stay calm.” I listen and the battle continues, trout against girl, line pulled, rod pulsing, dream fulfilled.
“Rivers are like poems,” the grandmother says, and this story reads like a poem to the river’s beauty and the power of relationships to light up shadows in people’s lives. Amanda’s walking companion has shadows of his own, but his “simple” answers hide deep mysteries like those beneath the surface of fishing pools. And maybe truths sometimes hide “like trout in a stream.”
The Bad, the Good and Two Fly-fishing Women is a sweet lunch-time read, filled with the scents and sounds of the riverbank, the honesty of youth, the wisdom of ages, and the promise of redemption. To share with a child, to ease the pain of loss or the confusion of betrayal, or just to enjoy the peace engendered in a change of time and pace, it’s a long short story well worth reading and remembering.

Disclosure: I received an ecopy of this story from the author in exchange for an honest review.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Romance Girl on April 27, 2011 :
Amanda is a fourteen year old girl who is angry with the world. Her mother has deserted her and her father and moved to New York to be with another man. She is also hurting because her grandfather has died. Her grandmother moves in with them to help fill the void her mother has left.

While life is starting to settle into a routine, Amanda's grandmother becomes ill with cancer. Amanda retreats to that which she loves, fly fishing.

This is a lovely story about betrayal, love, loss and the road to healing and forgiveness. Amanda shares her pain with her adopted dog Shana and finds an unlikely friend in her journey with Vernon, a grieving alcoholic. Vernon has his own simplistic answers to everything in which he brings God into the equation. This is not a religious type work, but more a philosophical reading. The relationship between Amanda and Vernon seems to give them both something that they are searching for at this time in their lives.

This is a long short story that is easily read in one sitting. The author gives wonderful descriptions into the land and the art of fly fishing. My only complaint with the story was the way the ending was so abrupt when the mother came back on the scene. I thought there could have been a smoother ending to the story. Overall a very good read.

I actually gave this story 3.5 stars out of 5
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: A Book Vacation on April 22, 2011 :
This is a really well done novelette describing life through an angry fourteen-year-old’s eyes. I enjoyed it immensely, especially the superb imagery and description Kadish provides in regards to fly-fishing. I never was much of a fisher, but I enjoyed it as a little girl. The thrill of catching a fish still weighs heavy in my mind, and through Kadish’s prose I was easily able to envision Amanda as she trekked along the river, dredging up my memories of carefree summers and the palpable heat. Although I’ve never been in Amanda’s shoes, I believe Kadish does a superb job capturing her thoughts, feelings, and overall struggle as she attempts to cope with her mother’s betrayal and her grandmother’s sickness. I enjoyed the story, though some of the incidents do seem far-fetched, and while there is some discussion of religion, it is not an overbearing topic within the novel, but rather a touch upon the philosophical side of humanity. Three and a half stars.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Norma Wills on Feb. 07, 2011 :
The author has a way of creating characters that seem to pop off the page. Even though this was a very quick read, I really felt that I knew Amanda as a friend.

However, I felt that this story could have been fleshed out a little better. I am sure that the author could have gone into a little more detail on the events that transpired. I don’t want to go into too much detail. As I said, it is a very short read and just mentioning too much can give the whole story away.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Jason Eldredge on Feb. 06, 2011 :
The author possesses a clean and educated writing style, but the story was lacking in a true purpose. What exactly were we and the main character supposed to learn, again? It only started to feel like I was reading a story told by a young girl, when at one point the plot turned to a very exaggerated and unbelievable scenario. I would like to read something else from the author, as there is evidence of potential, but there is a need for a much more fluid plot.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Darrin Niday on Jan. 16, 2011 :
a good read, did talk about God, though the girl never really accepted him but she did accept her mother back in the end. Was a nice story about a grandmother and her daughter teaching her fly fishing.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

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