Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Review: Coffins of Little Hope by Timothy Schaffert

Author: Timothy Schaffert
Publisher/Format: Unbridled Books, Pub date Apr 19, 2011, e-galley 168 Characters: Ester Myles, Doc, Tiff, Daisy, Lenore
Subject: life in a small town
Genre: fantasy, fiction, YA?
Source: e-galley from publisher via Net Galley

The publisher's marketing copy:
The purported kidnapping of a young local girl and the secretive printing of an infamous, long awaited, infamous YA fantasy novel capture the imaginations of an octogenarian obituary writer, whose eccentric family owns the local newspaper and the printing company, and of her small Midwestern community that profits from the publicity of both.
I had a hard time with this book. It packs a lot into the 168 pages I had in the e-version. The writing is delightful.  Like the flight of the dragonfly on the cover, it flits from character to memorable character, from scene to amusing scene, landing just long enough to hold our interest before zooming off to something else.  The narrator, an 83 year old obituary writer--Esther Myles ("they call me S"), whose son Doc owns the town's publishing press tells us  three or four concurrent stories.  There's a women who claims her child is missing, but no one knew she had a child.  Did she really exist?  Was she really kidnapped? There's the secret publication of a series of YA fantasies (the latest one entitled "Coffins of Little Hope") whose existence must be kept secret, but pieces of which seem to be leaking onto the CB airwaves.   There's the relationship of  Ess's granddaughter to her mother, and the need for the town to do something to keep from dying on the vine.

While the writing is charming, and each sentence can bring a smile, I really had a hard time following the story lines.  The constant scene shift and disconnected stories had my head spinning.  I think many readers will find this one worth their time, and I'm glad I read it, but I feel like I've missed something someplace, and will need to read it again, or find someone who has read it and spend an hour over a good cuppa coffee to discuss it and figure out what it's really all about.

1 comment:

  1. Gosh I have read several reviews of different books this morning where the readers had the same problem...following the story.Does it have to be that hard?
    That has to be the basis of a book..right...really.


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