rating: 5 of 5 stars
Kristy Kiernan has many gifts as a writer (and as for her gifts as a person, well, there's not enough room to write about them on only one Internet).
Two of those gifts shine the most brightly in this, her second book:
1. Characterization: Kristy writes characters so complex, so multidimensional, so REAL, that you feel that any moment they're going to step out of the page and strike up a conversation. When they suffer, you suffer along with them. And when they find their moments of redemption and healing, you feel redeemed as well. The people in this book: Cal, Chloe, Marshall, even (or maybe especially) the Grandma, are going to haunt me for a long time.
2. Setting: Kristy clearly loves her home, the places where she was raised in South Florida, and that affection shows through in all of her description of the settings here. The closest comparison I can make is to Pat Conroy, but with a lighter, more graceful touch. The word "grace" keeps recurring in reviews I've read of Kristy's work, and it's an apt one.
Full disclosure: you may have guessed from this review that Kristy is a friend of mine. True enough. But trust me, this is an amazing book, and I'd be recommending it even if Kristy Kiernan was a total stranger.
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