This week’s One to Watch is A Fine Pickle by Liz Hoban. It is currently incomplete but we think it has an interesting and intriguing premise with lots of potential.
‘On the morning of September 11, 2001, Isabel Henry discovers she’s pregnant, the result of a rape during a July picnic. The shock of an unexpected baby sends her into a panic and she misses her 7:30 train, making her late for work on the 82nd floor in the North Tower.
Thoughts of securing an abortion preoccupy her commute but when she arrives at Penn Station she's immediately distracted. The Twin Towers were attacked and have collapsed. As reality sinks in, Isabel realizes this baby growing within her, saved her life. Will she reciprocate?
Years pass after that catastrophic summer and Isabel finally begins to heal. When she meets Mac at a 9/11 ceremony, she discovers they share a very special bond. Together, they begin to build a future. Isabel's blissful existence comes to a halt when she encounters her rapist, a man she had assumed died all those years ago when the towers collapsed. This man will stop at nothing to get what he wants. Isabel will sooner die than give it to him.
When the man is found murdered, the safe little world Isabel has painstakingly built begins to crumble. She’s in for the fight of her life...again.’
The opening chapter is a bold and brilliant move: ‘Your story begins at the end’. The characterisation is a great, the two sisters, Isabel and Penny feel like fully formed, believable characters. Their relationship with their bed-ridden father and the surrounding family issues give depth and realism to the story.
Having read the pitch and the first few chapters which are available on the site, I’m intrigued to see how the book will progress as Liz keeps working on it. There are hints of Before I Go to Sleep and Gone Girl which could be developed to great effect. Definitely one to keep an eye on.