Monday 19 December 2011

Mrs. Estronsky and the UFO - Pat Schmatz

Mrs. Estronsky and the U.F.O.
Pat Schmatz
Orchard House Press - Blue Works

ISBN 9781883573850

This was the first book that Pat Schmatz published but the last one that I read. I discovered her as an author earlier this year and have since read all the books she wrote. What amazed me most about this book in particular is that even though it was her first published novel, the skill shown in the writing and the craft in the storytelling is amazing. I find that with many authors you can tell when they wrote certain books during their career by the skill in the writing. That is not the case with Pat. That is not to say there has not been a progression in her writing - there has, but that this first book was an absolutely wonderful read.

The characters in this story were stunning in how real they appeared. As I was reading the book, I thought that these would be people I would like in my life. The story revolves around Jackie Riley and the events before and after her twelfth birthday. The story deals with issues of separation and split families, with learning to enjoy learning, with alcoholism and recovery and just plain growing up. The story spans the better part of the year, from early summer until Thanksgiving weekend. It is a mix of Jackie remembering back, and time progressing forward. The nuances of the story are subtle and I know that I will go back and read it again. It is a great book by an awesome writer. Give this or any of her books a try. You will enjoy them all!

Books by Pat Schmatz:
Circle the Truth
Mrs. Estronsky and the U.F.O.

Author Profile Interview with Pat Schmatz

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