Wednesday, December 15, 2010
When I picked up this novel, I had the impression that it would be a mystery/thriller. But in reality, this is much more of a character study of a girl most people would overlook – a self proclaimed “space between trees”. Of course, the reason most people overlook girls like Evie is because she is basically bland and unremarkable. The most interesting thing about her is that she makes up lies to make her life sound more exciting/less pathetic to her mother and “The whisperers” - a group of good girls Evie eats lunch with at school (LOVED the whisperers - I want a whole novel about them, stat!).
One of these lies leads her to be reluctantly “adopted” by Hadley, Zabet’s real best friend. Hadley acts out (probably because her parents completely ignore her) and engages in destructive behavior, that Evie merely reacts to. The most “thrilling” parts of the narrative have to do with Hadley and Evie looking for Zabet’s killer, a search that amounts to a chain of coincidences, innocuous by themselves, but dangerous enough together to result in tragedy.
There is beautiful, lyrical writing throughout and the author’s insight into wallflowers and grieving communities is impressive, but I spent most of my reading time wondering where exactly the author was going and if I really wanted to keep following. I'm glad I stuck with it, but I am sure I would have enjoyed the journey more if I had gone into it thinking “literary fiction” rather than “mystery/thriller”.
THE SPACE BETWEEN TREES is out now in (gorgeous!!!) hardcover. Find out more about it at the author’s website.