My attention was caught by the novel’s first sentences: “She was wet. She was cold. She was late.” With that opening, my attention was captivated. In my opinion, it is one of the most powerful, attention-grabbing openings I have ever read in fiction, and I read a lot of it.
Saving Nathaniel is enchanting and powerful storytelling, with characters that are real people, not clichéd cut-outs. The personal struggles Nathaniel and Megan have are ones that most of us can identify with because most of us have had them at one time or another. I certainly have. But it’s the skill of the story telling that kept me engaged, as in one exchange with Nathaniel where Megan “gave him a look so cold it would have made a penguin reach for a muffler.” It’s the kind of laugh-out-loud remark that makes this story such a richly human one. The author tells the story of Meg and Nathaniel with compassion and skill that draws you in and keeps you there long after you’ve finished the last page. This is a wonderfully wise book. Hopefully it is the first of many by this fine writer.
I can see Saving Nathaniel as a movie, with Helen Mirren in the role of Megan. It’s definitely one I’d watch more than once.
(review of free book)