Sunday, August 21, 2016
Today I am grateful for “The Art of Falling”, a novel by Kathryn Craft. That writer can tell a story and spin a plot, with characters that you really care about. . .even when you don’t want to.
Sometimes when Himself and I watch a movie of his choice, I need a cheat sheet to keep all of the characters straight. They are all men, with short great hair, good bone structure, of average height and weight, wearing gray suits with light colored shirts and various ties. I call them “Gray Suit Movies”. Half are bad guys and half are good guys. Which half I have no clue. Where is a good ol’ Karl Malden or Telly Savalas when you need one? Give me the white hat and black hat anyday.
I have found the same situation to be true in some novels. I hate it when I can’t tell them apart. When their voices blend together or their actions aren’t clear. I like different characters. Using characters with foibles and flaws and beauty and ugliness sucks me into a good story and sweeps me away like water down the drain. And what a vortex, “The Art of Falling” was.
This book reads like a dance. I met Kathryn Craft at the Philadelphia Writer’s Conference in June, so she does not know much about me and probably hasn’t read my blogs about my love of dancing. I love how this story ebbs and flows with the same expression necessary for a successful performance with each of the characters dancers in their own way.
Kathryn does not shrink from dealing with heavy topics like anorexia/body image, mother/daughter issues, suicide and grave illness, yet this book is far too hopeful to keep you stuck in problems of the characters for long.
I confess, and this is a little embarrassing to admit, when I was nearing the ending I really took my time. I was feeling resolve coming, but afraid the ending would let me down. I really cared about Penny and finishing the book would mean a friend was leaving. I wanted her to really shine, because if she did then I would. My breath was in rhythm with hers. My body, though far from a dancers, was poised for performance.
No spoilers here, but by the time I finished this book I WAS Penny. . .perched and ready to fly! And what a flight it was. Thank you, Kathryn Craft!