I one-clicked this book on a hummer, meaning a hunch knowing nada about it, including this was Ms. Knight’s debut novel. Yet, I am so happy to have found her at the beginning of what will surely be a stellar career.
There is so much to love about this book:
- Character Relationship – most romance love interests are joined at the hip, which readers have come to expect and want. Still, the separation of Naomi and William for much of the story was a welcome change that heightened and surprisingly charged the romance for me. The suspense of when they would meet again hooked me.
- Nonlinear storytelling – while romances overwhelmingly unfold in a more or less straight timeline, Ms. Knight’s chapters switch between the back story’s Jim Crow 1950’s time period and present time 1996. The switches are seamless and lend the story a weighter feel than the average romance.
- Evocative imagery – Ms. Knight’s unique and vivid turns of phrase have the ability to create a world and yank the reader down the rabbit hole into it…on a level I’ve not often encountered in the romance genre.
- Issue Tackling – William and Naomi’s story is rich and complex, tackling issues of race gracefully and satisfying a reader looking for a bit more bite to their romances.
Still, while there is much to savor in this debut novel, it is not without its hitches.
- Characters’ Choices – especially toward the end of the novel, I questioned some of the choices of both main characters. You know that moment when you’re reading and say to yourself…now why the hell did s/he do that.
- Character “Screen” Time – one thing I found a little lopsided was the amount of story given over to each character’s point of view. While I understood the reason Naomi’s POV was represented less, I still wished I’d seen more of her throughout the book.