Every once in a while you come across a book that contains a scene so memorable that it elevates the story from being a good read to great literature. An event so haunting you reread the story for years to come just to read that scene, because you know it’s coming, even as you wince in foreknowledge for the poor characters. A scene that makes you think, “Oh no, she DIDN’T!” at the writer because what she just did to her people was so terrible yet true, because he was brave enough to do it.
I’m thinking of Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man Is Hard To Find,” for instance, when the Misfit takes the family into the woods.
And my friend Kathy Crowley’s novel ON LOCUST STREET, which I hope you will read someday. And my friend Richard Fifield’s novel THE FLOOD GIRLS, which you will be able to read in 2015. And of one of my childhood favorites–a novel beloved to both me and my mom, that we still talk about as if the characters were real people, because to us they are: Belva Plain’s RANDOM WINDS.
AN UNSEEMLY WIFE is about an Amish family lured from their Pennsylvania community by the promise of Eden: land in Idaho. The family is shunned for their decision to leave, so they can’t go back. But going forward is more difficult than they ever anticipated, even in the fearful imaginings of the unseemly wife of the title, Ruth, who balks at leaving Pennsylvania all along.
What happens to this family is so unforgettable that AN UNSEEMLY WIFE becomes more than just a good read–it’s elevated to art.
Please read it and let me know if you agree.
To buy AN UNSEEMLY WIFE, click here.
* Please come back next Friday for another Friday Reads! *