*Note: I was provided with a free copy of the book by Ylva publishing in exchange for a fair review
Written in the third person, "Stowe Away" tells the story of Sam, at Yale, happier in the lab than at a party. Maybe mentally brilliant she is socially unskilled. She is an out lesbian but this does not cause her any problems throughout the story. Her main problem is her unrequited love for Natalie whose attitude is more about "the college experience" than worrying about coursework. She provides Sam with enough evidence of her unavailability by sleeping with half of New Haven County, both male and female. Sam stays chaste in her Natalie obsession to the point of being masochistic.
They both head out to California for different graduate schools (lucky Sam) so the agony can continue. Finally, Sam is forced to change her focus when she is called back to her sleepy, small town, Stowe, to become a caregiver for her mother, Eva. Her father is out of the picture and apparently exists in the story only to write checks to Sam. There is never an issue of money in this story. No concern at all. How Sam pays for anything from a deli sandwich to toothpaste is not covered but it can assumed her tuitions and expenses are paid for by her father.
With Natalie, the unavailable love interest out of the picture for now, the story becomes more pleasant. The author is good with the telling but not in the showing and the dialogue ranged from good to corny to story stopping. But I did read on. I was interested to a point. Every now and then one of the characters sounded like she had just purchased a thesaurus and said things no one would say and try to fit in normal conversation.
This stopped me cold as I read as I enjoy fluid story telling, not stopping and pondering the differences from what I've read before. I think it was an effort from the author to have the characters sound different from each other. The conversations in the book could use some work throughout to sound natural, and with all of this moping and self-delusion it could use more humor as well.
I could not for the life of me get a handle on how the main characters looked in my mind. I don't mean exaggerated elements like emerald eyes and so on, but I just could not picture them which was a first and I don't know why. But by the saccharine ending everything, everything, was resolved.
Worthy story, mostly. Dialogue needs work. Natalie needed to join the army and be sent to Anchorage around page thirty. Get rid of her.
What happened to all of the poetry/sonnets that Sam wrote? Why was that ability introduced? Sam as renaissance woman except for her social awkwardness?
I am going to say 2.5 rounded up to 3 Stars