This is a quiet, ethereal little book written as a novel, but by a poet. And like a lot of novels written by poets, impression, effect, language, atmosphere, are privileged over plot. So at just over 100 pages (maybe less if I can remember which exact page it started on), this book is small in stature and impression.
I think this book would have been a love it or leave it kind of thing, love it or hate it, but the story is so in offensive, it comes across as a series of small moments that don’t come across strong enough for either feeling. Instead, it’s just small.
Here’s what it’s like:
“It’s the people who don’t really look who find things most often. And I wasn’t looking, at least not for her. I was just looking at the early morning, which had forgotten all about lost children and was busy drenching every song had flown upstream and to the ridge. Frogs shrilled a summer’s sound that made me think of nothing but being home from school for three long months. I read of jewelweed had sprung up around the banks, and its green foam broke against my legs, flecking them with leaves and curled snails. Ice-water mountain-cold it numbed my legs flashed a chill up my spine. ”
It’s a very North Carolina story. Small, slight, focusing on a young girl and her feelings and thoughts. It had some feelings not far from a lot of other Southern novels, but again it’s very small.