Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Review - The Coffins of Little Hope by Timothy Schaffert

Happy Release Day!

The Coffins of Little Hope

TITLE:    The Coffins of Little Hope
AUTHOR:    Timothy Schaffert
INFO:    Paperback, Fiction, 262 pages
PUBLISHED:   Unbridled Books, 2011
SOURCE:   Received from Publisher for Review

FROM GOODREADS:  Timothy Schaffert has created his most memorable character yet in Essie, an octogenarian obituary writer for her family’s small town newspaper. When a young country girl is reported to be missing, perhaps whisked away by an itinerant aerial photographer, Essie stumbles onto the story of her life. Or, it all could be simply a hoax, or a delusion, the child and child-thief invented from the desperate imagination of a lonely, lovelorn woman. Either way, the story of the girl reaches far and wide, igniting controversy, attracting curiosity-seekers and cult worshippers from all over the country to this dying rural town. And then it is revealed that the long awaited final book of an infamous series of YA gothic novels is being secretly printed on the newspaper’s presses.

The Coffins of Little Hope tells a feisty, energetic story of characters caught in the intricately woven webs of myth, legend and deception even as Schaffert explores with his typical exquisite care and sharp eye the fragility of childhood, the strength of family, the powerful rumor mills of rural America, and the sometimes dramatic effects of pop culture on the way we shape our world

MY TAKE:  The unusual narrator of this story is what initially grabbed my attention. An 83 year old obituary writer is not the first to come to mind when looking for a tour guide through a small town mystery.

Unusual characters are actually what drive this book. Essie is our octogenarian storyteller. She's had an extremely full life and does tribute to the dead with her obituaries ~ even still typing them out on a 1953 typewriter. Essie is surrounded by other interesting folks: her grandson Doc who runs the paper, but wants to own a magic shop; her great-granddaughter Tiffany who has lived with Essie and Doc since Doc's sister Ivy dumped her there as a little girl.

One of the most mysterious and confusing characters for me is Daisy. She is the mother of the missing girl Lenore. Essie has the task of writing an obituary for the little girl as she is presumed dead. The question is: was Lenore ever even real or was she a figment of Daisy's imagination? This story is full of twists and turns and unanswered questions such as these.

The author created some fascinating characters that were a lot of fun to follow around Little Hope and the surrounding countryside. They were the highlight of the story. Some of the plot left me a little confused, but the characters made up for it.

Out of 5 JEWELS, I give it:

WHERE TO BUY IT:    Amazon and The Book Depository

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~~~~~ Disclaimer:  All opinions expressed on this blog are 100% my own.  I do not receive monetary compensation for my reviews but do utilize affiliate links.  I may receive books in  order to facilitate a review, but this does not guarantee a good review - only a completely honest one.  Each review post denotes how I obtained the book.


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