I'm sold on Afton! It was a bit gritty for my taste, to start, then the backstory and characterizations were filled out--just enough, skillfully, a little at a time, to engage my interest and sympathy--then the plot took over and I was hooked. Now I'm going to be [very] anxiously awaiting parts 2-4. (Glad Jones is only making us wait a few months; I'm already a Rothfuss fan!)
The characters of Afton and Tia, Kim and Jared and Chris, and the sleaze Kenneth, are certainly all believable portrayals of people in a small town--at least, the small towns where I have lived. And if anyone doubts the realism of the 'days in the life of a librarian' aspect of this story, rest assured that the ickiest details are straight from the incident reports and occurrence logs of the library the author visited for his research! Yes, THAT happened.
When I say the plot took over, I mean that it began at a walking pace, letting us meet the characters, get used to the setting, and find hints that all was not as it should be in Afton's life and town. Then the story picked up speed, raced to the conclusion of this episode, and stopped short, like a runner at the edge of a cliff. It was a great read!
Other books I have been reading recently informed my response and reaction to Afton's story. Chessy Prout's "I Have The Right To : A High School Survivor's Story Of Sexual Assault, Justice, And Hope" and Tara Westover's "Educated" gave me some sensitivity to Afton's refusal to acknowledge "the V word" and the critical importance of seeing oneself as a survivor. Well done, Brent!
I received an advance reading copy of this book from the author, in exchange for an honest review (and notes on any typos I might find). (less)
(reviewed the day of purchase)