This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life
I am still not sure how I feel about this book. I loved parts of it but thought other parts were a little too much. And that ending. I can't even. I was really hoping that everything would pull together for a feel good kind of ending. It wasn't a feel good ending. It was shocking and it broke my heart. I really have struggled with how to rate this book. I was really somewhere between a 3 and a 4 for most of the book. When I take the ending into consideration, I really have to go with 3 stars for this one.
This book has one of the most colorful cast of characters that I can remember reading. Some of these characters were rude and abrasive most of the time. I did feel that the characters were a bit over the top at times. I didn't dislike most of the characters but I didn't feel any kind of connection to the majority of them either. There were a few stand outs in the cast that did get to me by the end of the story. Laverna took a long time to warm up to but once I understood her, I grew to like her. Bucky was awesome, Jake was perfect and I fell in love with him almost instantly. Rachel was really pretty easy to like as well.
The majority of the book was told from Rachel's point of view. Rachel left her hometown of Quinn in disgrace. She is coming back after being gone for years because she wants to make amends as part of her recovery. Rachel has changed and is really a better person but she did a lot of terrible things while she was growing up in Quinn. She has a lot of patience and slowly works to change her life. She even plays for The Flood Girls even though she isn't a very good softball player. Watching Rachel make new connections and become a part of the small community again was interesting to watch.
I did enjoy the narration in this audiobook. Kathleen Early did a fantastic job with a large cast of characters. Each character had a distinctive voice and was able to deliver some rather colorful dialog quite convincingly. I thought that she did a great job in capturing the emotions of the characters. Rachel had a lot of really high points and some rock bottom moments in this book and I really felt her joy and her pain. I will definitely look for more audiobooks narrated by Kathleen Early.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a story set in a small town with quirky characters. There is a lot more to the story than that but the characters are really the basis of this story. I did enjoy Richard Fifield's debut novel and plan to check out his work in the future.I received an advance reader edition of this book from Blackstone Audio via Audiobook Jukebox.Initial Thoughts
I don't even know what I think of this one. Definitely not a feel good ending but one that will probably stay with me for a while. It was abrasive and rude at times with characters so extreme they almost felt cartoonish. The story did have a certain appeal in the end. I really liked the narration and will be looking for more of her work.
I am going to need to think about this one and process my feelings about the end of the story before I can write any kind of real review.