Monday, August 20, 2012
From the Back of the Book:
It's been fifteen years since Gideon Miller ran away from his Amish community in Carlisle, Pennsylvania as a boy of fifteen. Gideon arrives in the Smoky Mountains town of Twin Branches and settles in at the local auto mechanic's garage. He meets a host of interesting characters -the most recent acquaintances are Kiki, an autistic teen, and her sister Mari. Known as the "Getaway Savior" he helps other Amish boys and girls relocate to life in modern America.
One day the phone rings. On the other end is his brother Moriah calling from Florida. Of course Gideon welcomes his brother to stay with him and offers him a job. But Moriah is caught in a web which ends in his death and forces Gideon to return to the town of his youth, with his brother's body in the back of a hearse and Mari and Kiki at his side. He must face not only the community he ran away from years ago but also his own web of bitterness. Will he be able to give his anger over to God and forgive his father?
I truly did not mean for this to happen. I mean, I just couldn't stop myself. I picked up "Still Life In Shadows" late last night, intending to read a chapter or two before bed.
Four and a half hours later, I finished the book. There was no good place to stop. Every chapter led me into the next, and every event made me want to know just a little bit more.
Alice is one of top five favorite contemporary fiction authors, so I've read all of her novels. I believe "Still Life in Shadows" is the novel she was born to write. It has a unique flavor that is hard to describe...it's just...it's so...REAL. It doesn't read like a work of fiction.
Gideon is so well developed as a character it's hard to believe that he doesn't truly exist somewhere, helping Amish youth into different lives and helping them get on their feet.
And we all know a Kiki...someone who lives in the shadows, never quite fitting in, but noticeable...just not for the right reasons. Maybe she is a little different...a little extra shy...a little slower in comprehension...a little backward in behavior...just not quite like everyone else.
Alice simply wrote about everyday life with some extraordinary characters...and it is gorgeous storytelling. I received a copy of "Still Life In Shadows" as a gift from the author and River North Publishing (Moody Press) in exchange for an honest review.
If you can only read one novel, make sure you read "Still Life In Shadows". Very highly recommended, and Best Contemporary Fiction of 2012.
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Authored by Deena Peterson at 7:48 PM