Jacket recommendation pays off
I know you shouldn't judge a book by that, but of course we do.
It wasn't so much the jacket itself, it was the recommendation on the back from Stewart O'Nan. I love, love, love his works.If he thought it was a good read, odds are I would too.
My co-worker Mark Meszoros was also intrigued. But he was more taken by the fact that Martin's "The Bright Forever" was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.
Note to publishers:You just never know which bit of information will appeal to a reader. Those multiple entry points are so important.
O'Nan did not let me down. I'll put my thumb up next to his.
Lee Martin has crafted a couple of truly memorable characters in Miss Baby and Laney.
I wouldn't say I liked them so much as I empathized with them.
The wrong choices that snowballed. The lack of hope for a better future. The serious lack of judgment when hooking up. You just want to shake them.
But in Martin's hands these women are far from sterotypes. They are complicated individuals.
As Miss Baby says: "That's the thing that froze me, that uncertainty about what was coming at me from the future. I kept turning it over in my head, the fact that when we make a choice, we create a realm of possible consequences, and another collection of possibilities go zooming past us, and we never know what they were. We never know how things might have turned out differently."
Who hasn't shared that emotion? Certainly it's one Laney can relate to. And how the stories of these two very different women from very different towns become intertwined is the suspenseful backbone of the story.
I'm curious to see if Mark enjoys the novel as I did. Stay tuned.