This week we’re looking at a strong debut novel touching on many cultural touchstones both in its overall story and in its telling of that story. This week we’re looking at The Speed Of Light by Elissa Grossell Dickey.
As always, the Goodreads review:
No Day But Today. This is one of those books that touches on so much that it can at times appear a bit schizoid… and yet it all works. So very well. It has the pop culture references – including the one I used as the title of this review, but also very heavily Star Wars. It has the romance. It has the life-altering diagnosis and its aftermath. It has the immediacy of a school shooting. It has the dual-timeline nature of someone reflecting on the last year of her life during a particularly traumatic moment. Arguably the singular real flaw here is the predictability of the more dual-timeline nature than the more sporadic nature the description seems to imply. But perhaps that was an editorial decision to play it a bit safer in a debut, as a more sporadic approach can be at least as treacherous when not done well – and it is far easier to do horribly than a straight dual-timeline approach. The specific time tags on the present day timeline serve to give a great sense of immediacy and urgency, though at times the shift to the previous timeline is a bit abrupt and jarring. Still, ultimately an excellent debut novel, one that makes this reader look forward to the author’s next work. Very much recommended.