I just finished ANOTHER truly fabulous book by Kathleen Eagle; This Time Forever.
When I read The Last Good Man, also by Kathleen, I loved it so much, I couldn't stop reading it.
This book is the same. What is it about her books that affect me this way? It's a lot of things.
In both of these books, the characters are wonderful. And, I am always captured by healthy, present, aware, loving interaction between a man and his children or the children he is responsible for.
"Just teaching him how to arm wrestle. He always wants to use his right hand, but if I don't let him use it--see?" He pinned Sam's right arm to his side and let him use his left to grapple with two of Cleve's fingers, which Sam wanted in his mouth. "He works his left side a little more." This Time Forever by Kathleen Eagle
Kathleen writes compelling stories. Sometimes it is easy to see that love is inevitable, as in The Last Good Man where Clay and Savannah had grown up together and been sweethearts before. And sometimes it's not as in This Time Forever when the two who eventually end up a couple, meet in circumstances that don't lend themselves to falling in love.
The twists and turns that Kathleen employs to bring about that love, are unexpected, yet ordinary and completely believable.
The thing about these books is, they break the rules that I have in my head as something I would want to read.
I chose to read The Last Good Man because someone I trusted, I think Lois Greiman, recommended it. This Time Forever is a book I won. They are not books I would have chosen based on reading a synopsis or their back covers. And, yet, as I said, I go back and reread them over and over again because I love them so much.
I think of myself as not wanting to read books that feature diseased characters. Savannah, whom I loved in The Last Good Man, is recovering from breast cancer. Little baby Sam, in This Time Forever, is a special needs child. Yet, these books are hopeful and upbeat but not in a whitewash-the-truth way.
I think of myself as not wanting to read books with people in really bad circumstances. Cleve is in prison for something he didn't do for a major part of This Time Forever. Again, loved it. Again, hopeful and upbeat while not whitewashed.
The hero of both of these books is A COWBOY. A cowboy. I fell in love with 2 cowboy heroes. How did that happen? If I were in a bookstore and I picked up a book and read the words, cowboy hero, I'd have dismissed it out of hand.
Turns out, I would have been wrong.
Turns out, I don't want to read only light, funny, love stories where no one has any real problems. Who knew?
It's possible Kathleen has changed the way I choose a book to read. She's that good.
How do you choose a book to read? Are there things that will automatically attract you to a book or things that will make you instantly put a book back on the shelf at the bookstore?