It’s cold outside. Snow on the ground and more expected on Saturday. Upstairs, four women sleep. In “my” room, my friend sleeps on the upper half of our daybed/trundle combination. Our “house elves” (who insist they are FREE elves) sleep on the couches.
Me, I check my email, see that I have a book review due, and go to find it. The thing is at home. Oops. So, Off I went to Amazon and purchased it.
I won’t pretend I wasn’t discouraged. See, I went to bed at 3 a.m. Woke up at 8. I’m… tired. Still, I need to keep my word, so I started reading. In less than an hour, I was done.
Let’s face it. That’s pretty short.
Note: links are likely affiliate links. Additionally, while I requested and received a review copy of this book, I actually purchased it and read the purchased copy.
What Makes a Story Too Short to Be Great?
Although I knew this was a “novelette” and a prequel, I didn’t expect it to feel so incomplete. The story could be an interesting one, but as it is, it reads as a series of connected vignettes in a young girl’s life.
The writing is strong, characterization well-done, and aside from a couple of typos, it’s a pretty clean copy; however, reading the entire book in italics means that you can’t tell narrative from internal monologue–until it just switches into present tense out of nowhere. That was the most frustrating part aside from the length.
I’ll answer my own question. Because the story doesn’t have a strong opening, middle, and close, Childhood feels incomplete, rushed, and jumbled. All that said, I am interested in the book that is to follow. I suspect I’ll like that one much more.
About the Book
Author: Greg Schaffer
Release Date: February 10, 2020
Katie lived a lonely childhood, her after school time filled with responsibilities to her father and special needs brother. Her chores prevented her from experiencing the carefree life her peers, including Joey, her neighbor and secret crush, lived. She began running to impress Joey, then discovered track as a possible way out of the small town of Nortonville, Tennessee. But as the promise of a college scholarship drew her closer to the escape she had dreamed about since childhood, she wondered why she didn’t feel better. What was missing?
Childhood is the novelette prequel to Fatherhood, a full-length novel about abortion from the father’s point of view.