My favorite hometown author, Hester Young, just came out with her second novel, "The Shimmering Road." In 2015 I was given an Advanced Reader Copy of her first novel, "The Gates of Evangeline" in exchange for writing a review in my blog. This year I did not receive an advanced copy, so when I heard her speak at the local Barnes and Nobles the day the book came out, I did not have a chance to read it first.
Reading her second book I am still as much in awe with her storytelling abilities as I was in August 2015. She has a real talent for putting in just enough details that you feel as if you have entered the scene. Somehow, though, in a book with nearly 400 pages, none of these words seems superfluous, they all seem to be the exact right word and deserves to be on the page. As someone who edits as one of my many hats, I read the book with my mouth agape and my eyes firmly wide open. I devoured it in barely two days. I quickly left a review on Goodreads.com raving about the book. Wished I could have given it more than five stars.
I'm so glad I made it to her book reading. Hearing her read a few pages from the opening of the book was enough to place her voice in my head as I read the rest of the book. Each character has a clear and distinct personality. The setting plays a huge role in her novels. The first one was set in Louisiana (not coincidentally near where her family lives). The second one takes place on both sides of the Arizona-Mexican border (where she worked post college). The third one, she announced, will take place in Hawaii (where she went to graduate school). It is a planned trilogy, but she says she has plans for more books after these three. Wonder how long before one of her thrillers takes place where I live.
It is rare I put a book review in The Pillsbury Press. That is an indication of how much I really love this book and want this author to succeed.