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T. T. Thomas
- Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle
I've been a big fan of author Clare Ashton since reading and reviewing her first book, Pennance. Flash forward three years, and I'm happy to report her newest work, That Certain Something, is an utterly charming, deliciously satisfying, laugh-out-loud London tale of two people who seem far too different to be anything other than an accident waiting for "News At 11" helicopter-borne camera coverage.
I'll leave the synopsis of the story to others, but it's enough to know that when freelance photographer and ever-ordinary (maybe) Pia Benitez-Smith falls out of a tree practically into the arms of the award-winning journalist and ever-sophisticated (maybe) Cate, it's not just the squirrels who savor the nuts. These two impossibly different, yet individually exciting, characters have everything it takes to start a riot, a war or the hottest love scenes one could imagine. They are magnetic, to one another and the reader, and the supporting characters have been fashioned from Ashton's skilled, hilariously imaginative and hugely talented mind to reach inside you and twist your heart which is already thumping hard from laughter and alarm and more than a few 'oh my gawd, no!' responses of a completely captivated reader.
You are Clare Ashton's ward when you read That Certain Something, and she will take exquisite care of you...even as she threatens to lower you unceremoniously from mansion rooftops, upside-down and bare-assed! You will see a glimpse of this cacophony of literary magic early on in the book, and you'll find yourself asking to go along for the heart-warming, funny, funny ride.
Ashton has so skillfully mastered the timing and visuals of the humor and comedy of this tale that it's impossible not to feel great both during and after the reading. Her sense of place is magical and unobtrusive, capturing not only the excitement of the London landscape, but also the sentiment, the sentimentality and the struggle of change between the old and the new. We watch as modernity creeps through the rolling lawns of well-manicured mansions, owned by people of privilege and title who struggle, or not, to embrace and accept their own place in a tabloid world with old school DNA coursing through veins too tired to object and hearts too full of love to refuse. We relate to Pia and her warm, loving, and all-too human family as Pia brings both the love of life and her humble but honest experiences to Cate, a mysterious amalgam of brains, beauty and a closet full of fabulous clothes...and a few other things that shape her character, Pia's assumptions and the story.
Ashton reminds us that London is the perfect metaphor for how things were, how things can be and the absolute impossibility of getting from one to the other without a full spectrum of human experience to mentor the hills and valleys of change--to cry a bit, to laugh a lot, to love endlessly, passionately and without regard for conventions---the old ones and the new ones that think they are free of convention!
The secondary characters, particularly, Pia's mama, Cate's grandparents and Ed, tough old lesbian with heart of marshmallow secured into a ball covered in wire mesh and locked with a deadbolt, are memorable and perfectly drawn. They complete what is actually an ensemble theater event that would be as at home on a stage or the Hollywood screen as it is on the pages of a book or an ereader.
Ashton's writing is smooth as glass in this one, and yet manages to layer texture, tone and timing into a love story that would burn down Londontown if it got any hotter! There's not a misstep in this wonderful novel, unless you count your own as you bump into walls while reading because you can't put it down! Read That Certain Something, and then give a copy to someone you like...you know, in THAT way!