One to Watch Wednesday

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.

Liz’s Pitch:

‘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.


  1. I whole-heartedly agree.

    DL Fowler

  2. Philippa Stirling17 February 2014 at 20:35

    I must first confess that I haven't read anything other than the pitch that's here for this book. HOWEVER! The premise outlined in the pitch requires an absolute Kelvin scale freeze of intellect and credulity by the reader.

    Having lived here, in the U.S., on the morning of 9/11/2001 I am extraordinarily confident that the MC in this story would have known, before getting even close to lower Manhattan, what had happened. It was such a horrific event, so cataclysmic to the fabric of New York City, the surrounding region and the entire nation, that phones would've been blaring through the commuter train within minutes. The radio and television was full of nothing else that morning.

    I was home, near San Francisco, and clearly remember the images of the collapse of the North Tower on CNBC as it actually happened.

    Closer to the scene, with it all taking place in the midst of the morning commute, everyone would know what was happening almost as soon as it happened. Cell phones would be blaring throughout the commuter trains. Radios would have been transmitting the story in real time. People would have been speaking to total strangers, no doubt in tones of utter shock, horror and disbelief.

    As a result, I don't believe that anyone heading to work in The City that day would have been unaware of what had happened or what was going on. Therefore, the outset of this story requires a complete suspension of the reader's credulity.

    Granted, the MC might have gone forward into The City through habit or morbid curiosity, but it is most unlikely that, by the time she got anywhere close to lower Manhattan with the rampant terror and pandemonium she would have been selfishly preoccupied by her unwanted pregnancy.

  3. I believe the last poster completely misread the pitch. I thought the long pitch was lne pf the most compelling I have read on authonomy.

  4. Also, I was commuting that morning and didn't know anything until I left the wtc subway station and saw the first tower on fire.

  5. Loved this pick for One to Watch! Not to mention this is the author's second book chosen for this honor by HC.

    Completely disagree with Stirling's comment -many, many people in Manhattan did not realize what happened until after the second plane hit! Many others also did not have cell phones back then and with the circuits overloaded after the tragedy - calls could not get through anyway. I know the writer well and I know she was in NYC at the time and did a tremendous amount of research to pull the facts together and make this credible. (Kelvin scale freeze?? Really?) Sounds like such a gross exaggeration from someone who admits they didn't even read a word of the book! Disgruntled, jealous perhaps but mostly in such poor form to try and undermine a blog that is meant to be congratulatory and positive.

    Once again, I reiterate - I've read the entire manuscript and this is a well-deserved recognition! KUDOs Liz. Ignore the haters. Skater/writer

  6. Mientras que Omega consolida Replicas de relojes su posición en París con la apertura de dos nuevas tiendas, atrás en uno Replica Relojes de los modelos 'Faro' en su colección 2013: el Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra day-Date. Un hermoso reloj con un diseño clásico Relojes Rolex que aumentará los tiempos sin tomar un paseo. Disponible en una sola pieza.


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