Sunday, July 12, 2009

by Tanya Egan Gibson

Carley Wells is an oddball, overweight teenager who believes words, the SAT, and her English teacher, Mr. Nagel, are her worst enemies. Nagel reports to Carley's parents that she has answered the question "What is your favorite book?" with "Never met one I liked." Her parents make a decision to "fix" what Nagel calls her "intellectual impoverishment" by commissioning a book to be written just for her--one she will love. They decide to, quite literally, to buy her a love of reading.

Impossible as it is for Carley to imagine loving books, she is in love with a young man who cares about books and writing more than anything, except maybe a good bottle of scotch. Hunter Cay is Fox Glen's resident golden boy and oddly enough, Carley Wells best friend. He has been acting strangely distant lately and seems to be set on drowning himself in booze and Vicodin.

To the outsider, Carley's world is one of wealth and privilege, but the sordid underbelly of the fictional Fox Glen is quite another matter. Hunter and Carley's relationship may be the centerpiece of the novel, but the blatant, sometimes viscious actions of the other characters in the novel, resonate loudly with each character's rise and fall.

This is a complex, well-written novel. Quotes from various works of F. Scott Fitzgerald are used at the beginning of each chapter. I couldn't escape the feeling I was watching Gatsby in Hunter Cay. This novel will leave the reader thinking. What do you think?

To hear my interview with author Tanya Egan Gibson on my internet radio show INSIDE THE WRITER'S CAFE on, click on the link below. All shows are available as free downloads on I-Tunes.

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