#BookReview: Miss Memory Lane by Colton Haynes

Raw. Brutal. Not A Name-Dropping Hollywood Story. Like so many others, I first “met” Haynes when he showed up on my TV screen as Roy Harper in CW’s Arrow. A show which I didn’t want to like at first because it came *so* close to Smallville and Justin Hartley’s own excellent portrayal of the same (now titular) character, but whose grit and realism shined through and made me a fan (at least of its earlier seasons). But I never knew too much of the actual Colton Haynes other than knowing that he seemed to be friends with his female cast mates in particular and that he had previously been on the MTV version of Teen Wolf.

And while both of these shows are mentioned here (with more details about Teen Wolf than Arrow, though not a Hollywood-gossip type entry on either of them), the focus of this book is more about Haynes’ upbringing, from his earliest memories to his first sexual abuse at age six to his later sexual abuse throughout his teenage years, and his life as all of this was happening. Even when we get into the areas where he came into the public eye, beginning with modeling in New York and LA (after h

This review of Miss Memory Lane by Colton Haynes was originally written on June 9, 2022.

Featured New Release of the Week: Dovetail by Karen McQuestion

This week we’re looking at a tale with a very interesting spin on the classic dual timeline story. This week we’re looking at Dovetail by Karen McQuestion.

Growing up, my dad watched a lot of This Old House with Steve Thomas and Norm Abrams, as well as Abrams’ other show The New Yankee Workshop. Abrams in particular was an old school wood worker, and This Old House routinely featured shows that were even then 80 years old (over a century old today). So from a wood working side… I saw a lot of dovetails on TV as a child of the 80s and 90s. In this tale, McQuestion even describes them perfectly as she is describing an early 20th century man’s own wood working: a particular join of wood that makes the wood near inseparable even without any kind of glue or other fastener. And it truly is a thing of beauty when done properly, a join that actually adds to the overall beauty of the piece it is a part of.

And let me tell you… this particular story does the woodworking technique justice. McQuestion here does a pretty dramatic departure from her 2019 work Good Man Dalton, which was much lighter and airier. Instead, here we see rural early 20th century mores in full effect, as well as strong themes of jealousy and possession with disastrous results and lifelong regret. But what makes this story truly stand out is exactly how McQuestion executes the dovetail. When you’ve read as many books as I have, you see a lot of dual timeline stories these days. Hell, even the recently ended Arrow tv show famously used dual timelines in its entire run, even long after its initial run of them was over. What you don’t see, what I’ve never seen done before quite like this, is the exact mechanism McQuestion chooses to use to tell that particular story and have it dovetail with what is happening in the more current (though still nearly 40 years prior to the time I write this, and indeed in the year of my birth) story. I don’t want to give it away, even though the description speaks of it, simply because it was so well done and watching it unfold was truly a thing of beauty.

Indeed, in one particular section I was actually expecting one thing to happen – what I would have expected if I was in that situation, with a .308 hunting rifle and scope – and even here, McQuestion chose instead to continue with the dovetail.

Truly a phenomenal work, and very much recommended.

As always, the Goodreads/ Amazon review:
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