Monday, April 4, 2016

Redemption Road, Part 2

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
more crying
chills + grimacing
"Oh no"
raised eyebrows
dropped jaw

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's not pretty.


  1. John Hart is coming here and I'm bummed that I'll have to miss his event. I'll be at my mom's getting her through cataract surgery.

    1. That is a bummer. I'll try not to gush after I seem him in June!

  2. Kathy, do I know what area you live in? I hope your mom's surgery goes well.