Sunday, July 8, 2012

See You at Harry's

I had heard two things before I read this book: that it was excellent; and that one should keep tissues handy. Both were correct.

syah

The book followed an interesting arc. For the first third of it, humor dominates; although there are some serious issues going on, there are plenty of laughs in the family dynamics at the center of this book. I loved hanging around with these characters. I knew a tragedy was coming (or else why would people have recommended tissues?), but I didn't know what, or how it would fit in with this story.

When the tragedy came, it did fit naturally with the storyline, and the characters responded in ways believable to the ways they'd acted on the previous pages. For example, the character who was the first to take practical action was exactly the character I would expect to take practical action. And yet, the characters grew in their grief also: one character who had seemed rather flighty and rebellious really stepped up and took on an almost-parental role.

This tragedy dominates the middle third of the book, and it was such a big, irrevocable event that I wondered how on earth the author was going to bring us out of it. We had seen these characters sparkle; we had seen them devastated. Where could we possibly go from here?

With the hand of a master, author Jo Knowles brings home the final third of the book with hope and heart, yet with believability. The answers aren't cheap or easy, but we are left with beauty rather than despair.

This is a good one for writers to study when they want to see how to bring characters from heights to depths and back again.

source of recommended read: bought

12 comments:

  1. I'll have to put this book on my TBR list.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Jenn, Thank you so much for this thoughtful response. <3

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for the recommendation. I look forward to reading this soon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was one of my rewards for finishing a draft. :-)

      Delete
  4. Nice recommendation, Jenn. Have to take a look at Jo's book with your comments in mind.

    ReplyDelete
  5. What an amazing review, Jenn. Now I'm anxious to read this novel. And I'll make sure to have tissues nearby. : )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Always glad to increase your TBR pile. :-)

      Delete