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Chris Blocker

Literary snobbery and other thoughts by Chris Blocker

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The Cove (P.S.)

The Cove - Ron Rash

At this very moment, I am supposed to writing in my own novel.  Later, when my wife finds out I wrote this review instead, I'll likely be in trouble.  It's just I'm in one of those places in the novel and in my writing that every word becomes convoluted.  I am literally pulling my hair out over the choice of each word, wondering whether the imagery works, and doing my damnedest to avoid clichés such as “pulling my hair out.”  Why must it be so complicated? Truth is, it doesn't have to be.  I've known this for a long time, but I still need reminders.  Ron Rash provides such a reminder.

The Cove is a quiet novel that takes some time to really build its story. Rash takes these characters who are all outcasts in one way or another and lets them live out their story on the page. Everything—the imagery, the setting, et cetera—are very organic in the story. Along the way he stops and gives the reader a sense of the scents and tastes. He makes it seem so easy.

It's such a quiet story, but once the pace picks up, it moves until it reaches its startling conclusion. But none of it feels forced. It's sort of what I expected from the place and these characters. It works because it is natural. Rash knows his characters, their homes, and their world.

I want to know the characters of The Cove as its author does; Rash doesn't quite take enough time to introduce them to the reader as much as I would've liked. I really enjoyed them in their roles and I believe I would've appreciated them more had I understood them a little better. Though I didn't fully understand them, I found them easy to follow.

I like stories that wow me. Authors who impress me with their wit and intellect. But in all stories there needs to be a time to slow down and let the reader inhale the cool mountain air from the pages of the book

Thank you, Mr. Rash, for the reminder.