Read ThisAugust 25, 2011
I just read the best book I've read in a lonnnnnggggggggg time, and that's saying a lot because I read a lot, and I only read good books (I have no patience for books that are not great -- I have a theory, and I think it's a valid one, that there are too many great books out there, and I will not have time to read them all.* Why waste my time with something I'm not adoring? I spend a lot of time screening books -- reading first chapters on my Kindle and then not purchasing unless I'm in love. And even if I love the first half, if the second half doesn't keep me, I don't need to finish it. It's kind of like dropped stitches in lace -- NO ONE WILL EVER KNOW).
This book was nothing short of amazing.
THE HOMECOMING OF SAMUEL LAKE, by Jenny Wingfield.
I'd heard of it a year or more ago, from my agent, who also represents Jenny. And I have to admit this to you (because I'm a compulsive confessor), while I normally don't feel much jealousy, even in the writing world which can be thick with it, I felt a twinge when Susanna waxed rhapsodic about this book. I've never seen her talk like ANY book the way she talked about this one. She just knew this was going to be something, really something.
Come on. Was it that good?
Yes. It's better.
I read it in a day, and I'm not one of those people. I don't read a book in four hours--I can't. I have to figure out how writers do things, and that sometimes takes a while. I'm a book-a-week, usually. But this one I carted around the house with me, took a three hour bath with it, and then crawled into bed with it and stayed there till I was done. I had my own blasted writing to do, and this was more important (plus it fed the soul, which I also needed, so that was fine).
Now, personally, I don't read back-cover copy, and I hate watching trailers. I want to know that something is good, and then go in cold, so I won't tell you much. I'll tell you this, though: the characters she draws are full, complete, and I know them. The villain is the MOST VILLAINOUS villain I've come across in a long time. I felt hatred in my heart like I don't carry for real-life evil people. Swan, the young protagonist -- oh, oh. Not since Scout have I wanted to be a character like I wanted to be her.
Get it. Buy it. Tell everyone you know. Tell ME, too, what you think. And enjoy.
* I'm a HUGE Milton fan, did you know that? And did you know that it's postulated that he was the last man to ever read everything that was available to read? (Of course, a lot of that was read to him by his poor daughter after his eyes failed, so I always consider her second on the list.)