Friday, May 8, 2009

The Girl She Used to Be

A patron told me yesterday that she loves to read books by first-time authors. "You're getting their best," she said. "They haven't gotten caught up in the publishing machine. They're still writing for the love of the story and the characters and the words." While I love many books by authors that have churned out dozens, when I stopped to think about what she said, I realized that some of the books I've most enjoyed in the past few months have been by first time authors. Andrew Davidson's The Gargoyle was one of the most compelling books I've read in a long time. It's --fair warning-- a little strange, but I suspect it's one I'll go back to again to see what I missed the first time.

Last week, I read and enjoyed first-time novelist David Cristofano's The Girl She Used to Be. It's the story of a woman who grew up in the witness protection program after she and her parents witnessed a vicious mob hit. Twenty years into the program, she meets the son of the mob boss who comitted the murder and has to decide whether to stay in the protection program or leave with the mob boss's son. I know -- seems like it would be an easy choice, right? More than that, it's also a story of a person figuring out who she is when others' definition of her is always changing, it's a story of what safety means and what it's worth, and it's a story about finding contentment with life as it is, not just as you want it to be.

I'm not going to give up the authors I already love, but it was nice to be reminded that giving new authors a chance can have a big payoff.

10 comments:

Kristi J. Hale said...

I just put both of these on hold. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Jodi Picoult has done it again in her latest book, Handle With Care. This book was even more emotionally riviting and moving than some of her other titles and don't be surprised to find yourself shedding many tears!

bniekamp said...

Sounds like a book I'll enjoy.

Georgia said...

I love a good suspense. Can't wait!

Pam said...

I can't wait to read this one-sounds like a real page turner!

Pam said...

Can't wait to read this one-sounds like a real page turner.

Pam said...

I have put this title on hold for myself and a few friends.Looks good.

Pam said...

Just put this on hold for myself and a few friends.

Nancy said...

"THE GIRL SHE USED TO BE" sounds like a book I would like to read.
I already put it on hold.

Margaret said...

Thanks for the recommendation. It's always nice to discover a new author.