A True Wonder: Ann Patchett’s State of Wonder

 

 

 

 

A couple of years ago I happened upon Bel Canto, a novel by Ann Patchett. The story moved along at a crawl. The plot was minimal. And yet I was entranced by the novel and couldn’t put it down. The characters were fascinating, the setting was described in such rich detail, the atmosphere was enchanting, and Patchett’s writing was exquisite.

I don’t know why it took me so long to pick up another of her novels. I suppose I didn’t want to be disappointed. After all, it seemed unlikely that she could write another such masterpiece.

State of Wonder was published last year by HarperCollins, and I finally got around to reading it this past week. Is it on par with Bel Canto? Well, no. But in my opinion, few books are.

Once again, however, the characters are wonderfully drawn and the settings are vividly brought to life. Once again, Patchett evokes an atmosphere that is spellbinding. And I found this novel even more emotionally engaging than its predecessor; several scenes were intensely moving.

It’s rare, even in otherwise excellent novels, that I encounter an ending that is fully satisfying. This one is unforgettable. I think it’s perfect.

Some detractors of the book complain that the scientific aspects of the plot are highly questionable, and I have to agree. For me, though, those elements were only mildly annoying and not central to the concerns of the novel.

Overall, I highly recommend State of Wonder. I can’t wait to read Ann Patchett’s other novels. Based on the two I’ve read so far, I’m convinced that she is one of our finest living authors.

 

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Tara Lazar: Mother, Author, & Blogger Extraordinaire

 

 

Back in 2009, Tara Lazar posted a review of Otto Grows Down on her blog, Writing for Children While Raising Them. Her review was so beautifully written and so enthusiastic that I immediately got in touch with her and we’ve been friends ever since. We critiqued each other’s manuscripts, commiserated with each other’s personal and professional struggles, and shared news and publishing industry gossip.

At the time, Tara had yet to have a story accepted for publication. Now, I’m thrilled to report, she has three! The Monstore will be published next June by Aladdin/Simon & Schuster. They will also publish I Thought This Was A Bear Book in 2014, and that year will also see the publication of Little Red Gliding Hood by Random House.

I admire how Tara has accomplished all this while raising two young daughters as well as writing and managing one of the premiere kidlit blogs on the Internet. She is my hero!

So check out Tara’s blog. This week she features an interview with me and is also giving away a copy of Crashing Eden. I can’t wait to see Tara’s books in print!

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God Condemns Crashing Eden

 

 

In a rare interview on Good Morning America, God denounced my YA novel, Crashing Eden, as “blasphemous rubbish.”

With His face blurred and His voice artificially altered, God proclaimed, “This book will corrupt young minds with its irreverent tone, sacrilegious content, and contemptuous portrayal of Me. It ought to be banned from schools, libraries, and any remaining bookstores.” God also criticized the story’s uneven pacing and weak character development.

Likening the novel to The Last Temptation of Christ and The Da Vinci Code, the Lord declared that “Crashing Eden distorts history and makes a mockery of sacred texts.” Asked about his one-star rating of the book, God replied that He would have given the book zero stars “if that was permitted by Amazon.”

 

 

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