Hi there! I took a break from these for a little while, so I could work on revisions to FOREVER NEVERLAND. But now that's turned in (yay!), so I'm hoping to post over the next few weeks (before I dive into the next book) about some of the wonderful books I read when I wasn't writing.
First up: I've got to tell you about this marvelous, quirky, dark gem of a book I think has been far too overlooked: ODD & TRUE, by Cat Winters.
Disclaimer: I've been a fan and friend of Cat's for a long time, but that doesn't affect how very cool this book is, so it has no bearing!
ODD & TRUE is, at its heart, a story about two sisters, Odette and Trudchen. Their relationship is complex: loving, a bit worshipful, but also twisted by lies and faith and tragedy. Cat tells the story masterfully, revealing details drip by drip about what Tru thinks happened, what Od told her, and what REALLY happened.
It's also a wonderful, eerie, atmospheric story about folklore, history, and adventuring women. It takes place in the early 1900s, in Oregon and the eastern US, and a large part of the story is the hunt for the Jersey Devil. (I was fascinated to hear LORE's version of the story after I read the book, here: http://www.lorepodcast.com/episodes/9 It pairs perfectly with ODD & TRUE.)
Both main characters are strong, layered, and deeply sympathetic, even when they're up to strange adventures and telling lies. Other characters are equally well portrayed. I also appreciated the nuanced portrayal of disability--Tru had polio as a young girl, and uses a cane to walk.
It's hard to peg exactly what this book should be classified as--mystery, adventure, historical, a little paranormal, literature--so I'll just say it's a classic. Check it out! I highly recommend!