"All in all an immensely pleasurable read"
A Review of Looking for John Steinbeck:
a novel based on the fictional journals of Stefani Michel
Review by E.A. Luetkemeyer, a Goodreads Author
SET IN THE SYLVAN COUNTRYSIDE of Carmel Valley, California, Looking for John Steinbeck is the first installment of the Lavandula series, the saga of the Wyman family, Jock and Maria, and their daughters, granddaughters, and sons-in-law. We see familial drama play out through the eyes of blooming, precocious cousins Stevie, Jo, and Tate, as they witness and wonder at the intrigues of their elders from the safe haven of the Hobbit House, their rustic charming clubhouse in the woods, and wonder, too, what lies in store for them as the future draws near.
Each character in Looking for John Steinbeck is vividly rendered—we come to know them and love them—and the distinctive points of view of all are intricately woven into a tapestry of complex emotions and engaging theatre. Much like the method of William Faulkner in his break-through novel, As I lay Dying, the narrative of Ms. Gordon's story unfolds through the quickly alternating points of view of its characters. Chapters range in length from a few pages to a mere few words, the shortest being: And those shoes! Skipping lightly from one point of view to another, the narrative remains fresh and the reader remains enchanted.
Gordon's mastery of craft is commendable. A lover of words and sentences, her prose sparkles and delights and never fails to deliver a gem of insight:
"It's funny how certain moments are captured in a frame, while most moments in life are gone like dust motes in sunlight, and barely signify. I think there are only a handful of those crystal clear, frameable highlights: falling in love, having a baby, reaching a goal, meeting a true friend, connecting with the Creator."
All in all an immensely pleasurable read that ends with a mysterious, beckoning conclusion that can only be satisfied by reading its sequel, Deke Interrupted. See you there!