In an unmarked envelope, that's how it arrived. I took a few minutes, scanning my mind, trying to remember if I'd recently ordered anything. Then I open it and sniffed the pages. A new book. An advanced copy sent to me by the publisher in hopes that I would read and review it. I always read them, rarely do I review. But I've been quite excited to share this one with you.
Prepare yourself to travel to the early 1900's where on the Canadian side of Niagara you'll meet Bess.... I could now use phrases like "coming of age" or "epic" to describe her journey or the course of the novel, but I won't. They're so overused and to be honest, when a story is described that way, it make me not want to read it. So instead of a sweeping overview of the beautifully written story, I'll share why I liked the novel so much.
Though fiction, enough actual history is woven throughout to really breath life into the story. In addition to old black and white photographs of the town and Niagara river, they've included faux-newspaper clippings of key events. I love the touch these add to the storytelling.
The characters are easy to relate to. In the beginning, I was about to toss the book aside, thinking it was the same ol' story with the same ol' people, but the characters grew and progressed throughout the story. The became real to me in a powerful way.
In the end though, in spite of how good the story is, it's Buchanan's writing that really excited me. I found myself completely in the story. Something about the way she told it had me experiencing a broad range of emotions, along with the characters, quite keenly. It's been a while since I've been carried away with a book like that.
Buchanan's novel has since been released, so if you're looking for a good, as of yet obscure, novel grab it and be carried away yourself.