I just finished this book this morning. Many people have been saying that Amanda Coplin is the next John Steinbeck. I have been thinking about this having read East of Eden a few years ago by Steinbeck, and I have to agree that their styles are alike or at least similar in many ways and captures details, streams of consciousness, showing the different phases, sides of a human so brilliantly. I simply cannot wait for Amanda Coplin’s next book, its hard to believe this is her debut. She is indeed the next John Steinbeck!
This book captivated me the moment I saw it in an email from barnes and nobles about it being a new release. I read the synopsis and the cover art called out to me strongly. I hesitated about buying it at first but the synopsis of the story kept popping up in my thoughts for days and finally went to get it. I dove right into it and it grabbed me tightly already on the first page.
The author’s changed of perspective and shifts between the characters don’t bother me because that’s how I write my stories too. I shift a lot between viewpoints. The message I got from the book was that we all have choices, we are all stubborn in what we believe, we fear that solitude of loneliness when everyone we love and who knows us best pass away. Yet that solitude becomes a part of who we are but in the same time we fear being alone in the world like Angelene was near the end of the book. I really liked things from Angelene’s point of view. How she thought she could go visit Della yet when she was so close to entering the courthouse, she fled from it. She couldn’t face that inner demon, the emotions, and monster of her childhood. I think a lot of adults nowadays are like that too. We all had that monster we couldn’t face whether if it was a blood relative we feared or an event we didn’t want to confront. We may have tried so many times to do so, but we rebounded at the last minute. Found out we weren’t as brave as we thought or as prepared. I haven’t been able to face or confront mine and I am 23. haha. Talmadge had the same issue but his was–how should I say—he still misses his sister and the question goes unanswered if Elsbeth was alive or dead at the end of the novel which disappointed me. I wanted closure to what happened to her. I was waiting for it. Every character in the book had a past, a demon, a monster, events, they didn’t want to bring up, confront or face. Each of them shared a solitude which exists in everyone of us today as well. A solitude they feared but tried to hide it.
I don’t want to blabber too much. I could go on and on and talk about every character. But I’ll stop here because I wanted to just close in on that point. =P. Overall–this is my second top book on the list after East of Eden. I so want to reread it right now but I have a bunch of other books that need to be read. So maybe someday soon I will pick it back up. However, the story and all the characters will remain in my heart and memory for a long time. The impression this book made is terrifying, the characters, the vividly detailed landscapes, every day life detail. I haven’t read a book that had such an impression since East of Eden. Life-altering. I love this book very much. That’s the end of my review. Oh and I loved the cover art it was so breathtaking and suited the theme of the book so well.