21 February 2010

Madeline Dare is moving here

Back in '07 I got a review copy of a book called THE CRAZY SCHOOL by Cornelia Read. I noticed it was the sequel to Read's first book A FIELD OF DARKNESS, so I picked that book up and basically lived in it until I finished. It was the kind of book that makes real life going on around you seem shimmery and somehow less real when you set it down. For much of the book, which involves a 20-year-old murder in upstate New York, Madeline is knocking around on her own in this small town full of eccentrics and I was right there with her. I can even remember the way the wood floor in her apartment was described. THE CRAZY SCHOOL is good, but not as good as the first book.

Catching up on Publishers Weekly I just found out that Read's third book INVISIBLE BOY is coming out in March -- and it's set in early '90s New York City -- this is so promising. The review (which can be found on this page) mentions a Prospect Cemetery in Queens that really exists, and is one of the city's oldest.

Sidebar: I try not to read any reviews of books I know I'll be reviewing in the future, but PW is the exception -- it's a great resource for finding titles I wouldn't have otherwise heard about, early enough that I can write about them. (And I'm not just saying that because I also write for PW, although its editors have been swell to me.)

1 comment:

Cornelia Read said...

Dear Ellen,

Well, now you've made me all nervous (but also flattered and honored), and I very much hope you like Invisible Boy. I think there are parts of it that are more like Field than Crazy School was--especially the final chapter.

I love your description of real life being "shimmery" when you're captured by a truly resonant book. I just felt that way yesterday, reading Tana French's third novel Faithful Place (SO GOOD! Out in May!)

The cool thing about writing, even though I find the process terrifying on pretty much a daily basis, is that during the times you hit a streak and it's really cooking along you get that same off-kilter shimmery disconnect when you resurface at the end of the day's work. Maybe this is especially true for me because I always write about places I've really lived, back in the era I was actually there.