Saturday, May 12, 2012
Echolocation, by Myfanwy Collins, reviewed
I didn’t know much about the plot when I began reading this novel, but immediately got sucked into the story. Geneva and Cheri were raised as sisters by their Aunt Marie after Cheri’s mother, Renee, ran off years before. Now, suddenly, Renee returns home with an infant in tow. (Cheri also had just recently returned home after the death of Marie.) Now the three surviving women must deal with their estrangements and personal issues head on—and hands on.
This is literary fiction with plot, action, and tension. Collins’ prose is elegant, but also lean and mean; as beautiful as the writing is, she doesn’t shy away from the dark, the gritty, and the cold part of life. Her use of short sections from the different characters’ POV (including some secondary characters) show their thoughts and motivations, of course, but also drive the story forward efficiently and quickly. Collins continued to surprise me throughout the book, as the story went places I hadn’t expected.
This is also a very visual novel. I was right there with the characters, stomping through the snowy woods to the old quarry; waiting out the ice storm in the safety of the family’s store/home as ice pellets hit the windows; having a drink in a seedy bar. And, of course, in the climactic scene. Though the three lead women were flawed, I cared about them, and couldn’t put the book down until I saw how it all turned out.