Here’s the part I like the best: Ritchie’s novel is by turns hilarious and moving, and among other things provides a raw and honest portrait of life in modern Alaska. “Not the wild parts,” Ritchie writes, “but smack in the middle of Anchorage, with the Walmart and Home Depot squatting over streets littered with moose poop.” This is not another wearisome tale of wannabe pioneers coming north to Alaska seeking a new start and redemption. The cast of characters come from the burnout end of the social spectrum. They’re the sort of folk who drink too much, like to smoke a joint after work, and save their meager wages for tattoos rather than retirement accounts. We know these people, and part of Ritchie’s genius is her ability to take the ordinary and make it extraordinary.
Of course, there were some criticisms toward the end of the review, but I get it–it’s my first novel, it’s not perfect. Yet. I’m still flailing around in the dark, writing-wise.
Thanks, Kris, for a great and hopefully honest review and, especially, for calling my book “extraordinary.” It’s a big word (four syllables!), and one I hope I prove worthy of.
Other news: Enjoy my guest blog post on Ghosts and Writing on Olivia Martinez’s very orange and cheerful blog. It’s about how seeing (or imagining I saw, which is rather the same thing) the ghost of my Polish grandmother inspired me to write Dolls Behaving Badly.
And of course, what would a blog post be without photos of the blue twilight of an Alaska winter sunset, a blue I can’t get enough of, that I want to lie down and coat over my skin and feed inside my blood; I love the lavender -silver blues that much. Enjoy.