out of the ashes

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Die Don't Die

I have a confession to make. I didn't just happen upon this author's first effort (that I'm aware of). A good writing friend recommended it to me.

My first impression when I went to C. Lindsay Newell Young's book page at Amazon was A) she forgot a comma in the title. Smiling there. B) Oh no, another "Tragedy has struck, and here's how I coped with it." I then opened the Look Inside feature and began reading. I was hooked. Chrissie's narrative voice was exceptional. Voice equals hook in this instance. I downloaded a copy intending to read it...oh, maybe next month or this summer when I finish reading all the other books by unknowns that I've promised to read.

A few nights ago I opened it on my iPad while lying under the covers, late. Within a chapter I was totally knocked out. Not only because of the almost self-deprecating stance of the narrator, but by the beautiful images in word that she so effortlessly plucked out of the air. A memoir is still, after all, a story, and all good stories, in my humble opinion, are packed with beautiful and unique images that give the work breadth and depth.

Not only that, but the flashbacks to early life in Southern California, in a household that is to say the least weird (daily enemas were a child's best friend; green soup was a staple) were fall-out-of-my-chair hilarious.

I won't give away the ending, but let me say it left me breathless, kind of the same way I felt after reading The Glass Castle.

There are questions in my mind about this fabulous book: Will it ever get noticed by the big wide world of modern readers? We all want that for our own work, but how loudly can you scream in a sea of screamers? In some small way can my review and my shouting make a difference? Should it, could it stand beside Walls' classic?

I hope it does get noticed. I will continue to shout about it. I think it should.

I don't know this author. Never met her at the various online groups I'm a member of. All I know about her is what she wrote in the ebook. She's a novice, I assume--this being her first effort. That fact alone should have the book littered with mistakes. As memoirs go, it should be soporific. It isn't. It is modern in writing style and incredibly well done.

Some agent somewhere will hopefully stumble upon it, read it, and then contact C. Lindsay Newell Young. I wish this author the best. Her writing deserves it.

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