Alluring novels arrive in first sentences. “Things go lost in Caroline” is the advent sentence to a lyrical, intrepid story that vibrates with great loss.
The story of Hannah, Angel, and Daniel, which winds around Hannah’s Holy Roller parents, digs deep and delivers. In love and pregnant at seventeen, within a religious cult that demands retribution, Hannah’s mother sells Hannah’s newborn daughter to an abusive set of tobacco squatter. Angel, the baby, now has an older sister Janie, and when both squatter parents abandon the girls, Jamie, old enough, leaves. Hannah, left all alone, takes off on foot to “the Mountains,” and a town named Boone. She knows her real mother is out there – somewhere. And everyone has gone. And she is just a child.
As she matures, Hannah becomes a recluse and an artist, more and more isolated as she becomes reknowned for her flagrantly and flamboyantly painted pottery. The story of a family demolished becomes one of enlightenment as Hannah finds Daniel, a man who sees what she sees – herself – in her fragmented art. Daniel and Hannah marry.
As this novel circumvents itself and goes inward and outward, I was reminded of a line one of my professor’s told me at Emerson College. “You leave blood on the page to be a writer. Just make sure you can cauterize the wound.” Hannah learns this lesson through Daniel’s eyes and just as surely, she finds what she is seeking.
Lyrical and poetic, this novel reveals texture, landscape and utterly riveting emotion. The ending is succinct and fulfilling. Alluring novels also end in alluring sentences.
Ratings are based on a 5-star scale
Book Review by Broad “A” – Ava
Thank you to the Hachette Book Group for providing this title for our book review as well as this giveaway. We were in no way paid or compensated for our opinions.
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