This week we look to – surprise, surprise – yet another new to me Lake Union author. This week, we look at Just After Midnight by Catherine Ryan Hyde.
This was a very strong tale from someone who clearly knows her stuff as it relates to the world of show horses. The overall plot, of a girl trying to save her horse while dealing with the sudden death of her mother, is compelling and well executed in its many layers and moving parts. Not only does the girl harbor a secret, but even the woman who has taken her in on this adventure to save her horse has secrets of her own. As does the girl’s grandmother, currently her legal guardian. All of these secrets come to light, and the story arcs of each of these ladies revolve around slightly different yet complementary themes.
The singular drawback to this book is one that can be worked around, but is a frequent stumbling block: Hyde truly knows her stuff regarding dressage (show horses), and it seems to come from a lifetime of living that particular life. If this level of technical knowledge and attention to detail shown in the book was the result of studying the topic just to write the book using it, I would highly recommend asking for her sources if you are interested in learning this particular subject yourself. The best comparison I can use from my own reading history is a book I read many years ago, but which is somewhat infamous for the very scene I mention here: Tom Clancy’s The Sum of All Fears and its page upon page upon page upon page description of… the first few nanoseconds of a nuclear detonation. While Hyde is much more conversational with her use of the various terms – and fortunately uses a primary character who doesn’t know this world herself as a way of explaining it to the reader, which is arguably one of her best decisions as far as the actual craft of storytelling for this particular story goes.
Overall yet another very strong Lake Union book, and yet another author to add to the ever growing list of authors to keep up with.
And guess what we end with? The Goodreads/ Amazon review! 😀
Sol Rising. In this tale of despair from new-t0-me author Catherine Ryan Hyde, we follow two women in the midst of starting over after personal tragedies as they hide – and learn to live again in the process. Overall a rich, emotionally draining tale that makes you think, if inwardly, perhaps a bit more than I generally prefer but which others will truly love (and which even I find useful at times). The *only* actual detriment to this book that I could find was that it goes in on horse and horse show terms in as technical (if conversational, among professionals) a manner as Tom Clancy ever went in on the inner workings of various weapons platforms in his own novels. Easy enough to follow along with, but a bit confusing at times and you clearly miss at least some elements if you are not familiar with them. Overall yet another 5* book from Lake Union, and yet another example of why I will trust virtually any book they put out to be worth my time – and yours – to read.