As promised, here are some more observations from John Hart's Redemption Road. I also wanted to include some samples of his writing. And a little chronology of my emotional reactions.
The 1st big observation I made is that this book took me 9 days to read. I can usually knock out a 417-page book in a week or less. I tried to figure out why it took me longer than usual. I think it's that I savored the story and the writing. Hart reminds me of Pat Conroy. Now I know I've said this before. But I can't help repeating it here. I've often said that nobody can write as well as Conroy and still have a story that is easy to read (you all know what I think about books that are too literary - The Goldfinch? - 19 pages? Hello?). Well, John Hart is definitely in that ballpark. He creates emotion, tension, and excitement in a well-written, but easy-to-digest, way.
Here's how well he writes. And I dare you tell me you can't see and feel how vivid his descriptions are.
"A hug died stillborn and awkward."
The car was a "...brushstroke of color in the road."
The "...building rising on her left, then falling away as if sucked into the earth."
"...The prison like a fist in the distance."
Speaking of photographs, "Another close-up hissed across the table."
"Elizabeth's paralysis snapped like a glass rod."
"He crossed himself again and felt the kind of chill that only comes once or twice in a lifetime."
Was I emotionally connected to Elizabeth and a number of other central characters? You be the judge:
cried out loud
chills + grimacing
Needless to say, I was very caught up with a number of characters - some major and some less major.
Let David Baldacci sum up my feelings: "People in publishing have always known that John Hart can flat-out write..." Harlan Coben says: "Big, bold, and impossible to put down. Redemption Road had me from page one. JOHN HART IS A MASTER STORYTELLER."
Heard/read enough? Mark your calendars. It's coming Tuesday, May 3.
P.S. Do you remember when I told you that there was a character in Dennis Lehane's Any Given Day that was so heinous that I made a strong (negative) emotional connection? Well, Hart pulls that off in Redemption Road. And let me just say...it's not pretty.