Every reader out there knows what I mean–you stay up late to finish the book because “there just wasn’t any good stopping point!” Right?
Yeah, that was me last night. And the funny thing was that it was completely unexpected. I was liking the book ok, but it was falling victim to the dreaded “I’ve only had time to read in 15-minute increments” disease. (Don’t you hate that?) The pacing felt screwed up, but it was really my reading and not the book itself. Then, last night, I picked it up to read, and I was really going to stop…but then I didn’t. And I ended up really enjoying the book (yay!). It’s called Winnie’s War, and it’s a relatively short piece of intermediate fiction about the Spanish Influenza pandemic as experienced in small-town Texas. I was pre-disposed to enjoy it–I love historical fiction, and this part of history fascinates me–but the characters would have drawn me in anyway. Surely it’s not a spoiler to say that people die–it’s about the Spanish flu–but it’s not so sad that it leaves you broken. I wouldn’t say the writing was perfect, but it was a debut novel; I was impressed.
(By the way, if that particular time period interests you, I have to put in a plug for A Time of Angels by Karen Hesse (LOVE Karen Hesse!). It’s thought-provoking and beautiful and poignant and–well, it’s Karen Hesse. I love that woman! Even Safekeeping, which is completely not my thing. If you haven’t read anything by her, PLEASE go remedy that immediately. From Just Juice to Witness, she never fails to grab me, move me, and leave me determined to find something else by her that I haven’t read yet.)