I hadn’t actually heard of this book, or its author, before reading it – I picked it up because of its publisher: Fox, Fincher & Tepper. It is an independent publishing outfit from Bath – sold at the bookshop, Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights, I wrote about when I went to Bath back in November. (So now you know how long I’ve had this book for.) They publish what they describe as books that are “under-celebrated beautifully written”. And yes, it’s a good book, and yes also very well written. I think to summarise my feelings I wouldn’t say necessarily that it will become one of my favourites, but it was still good.
It’s a story that starts of with seemingly low stakes: the narrative of a young couple, from a small town in the US in rural south Louisiana. (Certainly, there is nothing fantastical or apocalyptic about the context.) However, it actually gets a lot more interesting and engaging as it progresses; the situations built upon each other, steadily raising the stakes higher each time a solution was reached for the previous. Yet, it was still nothing unrealistic, although there was the potential for multiple characters’ death and injury.
The characters read as very real, alongside the extremely vivid sense of place, to make for an engaging experience – I think the acute location of the events was what kept me invested in the characters and their story. I think it’s a testament to the writing that although I had not heard of the area – let alone know anything about its history of lifestyle there – I still felt like I understood the circumstances and issues of the narrative. Therefore, I can only imagine how much more interesting a read it could be for those that do know about the area.
In conclusion, I found it an enjoyable book to read – the kind that although I didn’t find captivating to be exuberantly recommending to all my friends, I did still really like it.
(I feel that I should acknowledge that having taken so long to read it – thanks to university work – this may have partly influenced my views and sense of enjoyment, being unable to fully invest my time in it. So perhaps you may like to take my review with a pinch of salt?)