Friday, October 22, 2010

Eve Marie Mont

Eve Marie Mont is the author of Free to a Good Home, her debut novel about a woman coming to terms with past disappointments and forging a bright new future--man and dog included.

A couple of weeks ago I asked her what she was reading. Her reply:
Right now, I’m juggling two books, going back and forth between them depending on my mood. One is Kate Morton’s The Forgotten Garden. I’ve never read any of Morton’s other books, even though they gets raves, but I’m thoroughly immersing myself in this multi-layered novel about family secrets and identity. The story, which spans a century, focuses on a little girl placed aboard a ship sailing from England to Australia. When she arrives in Australia, however, she has no idea who she is or where she came from. Adopted by the harbormaster and his wife who name her Nell, the girl grows up happy and well cared for until her father tells her the truth. This sets in motion a search to find her true identity, a mystery that will echo across the years, culminating in her granddaughter Cassandra’s inheritance of a mysterious cottage with a forgotten garden. The book is thick—over 500 pages—so it has an epic feel, but it also has that transportive quality I look for in a good read. Rich in atmosphere and characterization, the book reminds me of other Gothic tales like Daphne DuMaurier’s Rebecca and Diane Setterfield’s The Thirteenth Tale. I look forward to finding out how Nell’s story will resolve itself.

The other book I’m reading now is Mary Alice Monroe’s Time is a River, which focuses on Mia Landon, a woman reeling from her recent bout with breast cancer as well as the dissolution of her marriage. She retreats to a cottage in the mountains, owned by fly-fishing instructor Belle Carson, and slowly learns of the grace and validation to be gained through the meditative sport. She also uncovers the journal of Belle’s grandmother, Kate Watson, a legendary fly fisherwoman once mired in scandal when she was accused of killing her husband. Through the resolute voice of Kate, Mia is able to find the strength and inspiration to reinvent her life. I am only a third of the way through this one, but the lyrical language and quirky small town characters are making this an enjoyable, escapist read.
Read an excerpt from Free to a Good Home, and visit Eve Mont's website and blog.

--Marshal Zeringue