For this week’s one to watch I have to thank Janet Colley. We get a lot of reading suggestions. I’d like to say we follow up on all of them, but it’s not always possible. Also, sometimes they’re rather disappointing. But Janet’s recommendation was so earnest I had to take a look, and I’m glad I did.
Her reading recommendation, and now mine, is: A Knock on the Door by Amy Boaz.
Amy’s novel opens with a vivid character portrait (of the protagonist’s literature teacher) that sets a trend for the rest of the narrative. The characterisation is really superb. By the end of chapter 1, the author offers wonderful portrayals of the protagonist’s peculiar brother, Tad, their accomplished but troubled mother, and their meandering grandparents. Not to mention the protagonist herself, Wanda – a strangely advanced child, who at the age of just eleven, realises that ‘time is running out’.
As the narrative develops, so does the bond between Wanda and her brother, as they search for their father, and cope with their disenchanted mother.
The syntax is a little odd in places, but the narrative builds into a rhythm that works well. The story line is also somewhat disjointed, but that’s nothing that couldn’t be smoothed with a good edit. It is certainly eminently readable. Though the novel has a child protagonist and is listed as children’s fiction, it is just as – if not much more – appropriate for a general adult audience.
Though the manuscript was added just a few months ago, the author Amy has not logged in for a while. It would be a shame for this book to go unnoticed, so hopefully a few more reviews and comments will encourage the author to upload more!
Here’s Amy’s short but sweet pitch:
Heartbreaking, sad funny literary work about a sister-brother team living in Ohio searching for their lost father, who has disappeared during the Iraq War.