Sunday, September 28, 2008

Catching up

More Carol Goodman, and I'd say this is my favorite of hers so far. The Ghost Orchid is considerably more tinged with the supernatural than anything else I've read by her, and apparently that was just what I needed right now. As always with Goodman's books, it's a great balance of solid writing and not-so-heavy reading.

I can't remember how I happened to find How Far is the Ocean from Here. One day, the library notified me that the copy I requested was in, and even though the subject matter isn't something I'd have normally picked up, I figured I must have had a reason for requesting it. And I'm very glad I gave Amy Shearn's novel a chance. It's a cast of quirky characters brought together in a motel in the middle of nowhere by a young surrogate mother on the run. The premise is perhaps movie-of-the-week with an alt-indie twist, and somehow Shearn makes it work -- it's often just too much, and at the same time, it's just right. Without giving anything away, I found the ending too neat, especially compared to the messiness of life throughout the book. But discounting that, it's very good writing and a satisfying read.

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