April 24, 2012

Thank God For Tall Ladies

After my unexpected advance to the quarterfinals of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award last month, I am tickled a baby-faced shade of pink to announce that I have now advanced AGAIN to the semifinals. That means I'm in the top fifty of all five thousand entries in the general fiction category, which I feel pretty good about even if I go no further.

I also feel pretty good about this review that I got from Publishers Weekly:
A poignant and touching melancholy suffuses the small moments in this lyrical tale of a family grappling with changes that are altering the dynamics of its household and the way of life on a small island. In October, 1980, the last child is born on Eilean Fior, an island off the northwest coast of Scotland. The island's aging population has, over the decades, been slowly moving back to the mainland until there are now fewer than two dozen permanent residents. Chief among them are the McClouds, who own the local pub and who are the last of the island families with young children. Spanning 22 years, the narrative follows the three McCloud kids as they grow from childhood to maturity: Barry, the moody oldest son, who never recovers from his boarding school separation from his family; Flora, an aspiring artist who longs for a fulfilling life off the island; and Trevor, who is left to attend to his aging mother and father when his siblings move away. As they respond with varying degrees of resistance to the pull of family and home, each of the children develops a distinct, credibly drawn personality evident in their every interaction with their world. There are no great dramatic scenes in this story, but rather quiet, well-conceived episodes of hope and happiness that alternate with the inevitable disappointments and disillusionment of life. The result is a bittersweet coming-of-age tale that is emotionally engaging and rings true.
I am contractually bound to mention at this point that Publishers Weekly is an independent organization and the review was written based on a manuscript version of the book and not a published version. I am not contractually bound to mention that I have re-read the review about seventy times for the sheer pleasure of it — but I will anyway. OH MAN.

The three finalists will be announced on May 22nd, and I will be peeing my pants until then. Check back then for news...

1 comment:

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