The Review I Really Wanted

Posted on | Filed Under: Blog

It’s been nearly a year since my collection was accepted for publication by WTAW Press and, in the midst of the frenzy of editing and proofing and selecting a cover and creating a roadmap to get this sucker out in the world, the one piece of the puzzle that felt more than a little elusive was the task of getting it reviewed. I assumed those just sort of happened, which was a foolish assumption to make. Reviews, at least for books released by small, independent presses, don’t come easy and, when they do come, they aren’t always what you dreamed they would be. Other times, they’re more than you could’ve hoped for, which was the case this weekend with this review in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, written by Kelsey Ronan. (As is almost always the case, pay no attention to the singular comment at the bottom, in which a not-so-astute reader points at the Netflix series, Ozark, is filmed in Georgia; way to stay off topic there, dude.) It’s so gratifying when a reader really digs in and understands your work and, even better, when they see and recognize those things that were less obvious to you as the writer, which is exactly what happened with Ronan’s review. She made so many astute observations, but here’s a favorite quote: “The narrator’s honesty and image-rich memories–her father smiling on a moonlit silver-road through Alaska, the cardboard box of clothes and dishes she holds on her lap on the Greyhound to Texas with her boyfriend beside her–are some of Mitchell’s richest, most satisfying moments, even when they’re carrying pain and trauma and the weight of a difficult landscape.”

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