Miles from Ordinary by Carol Lynch Williams (2011)

I let my breath out in a slow puff. Real careful I opened the window a little just so I could hear the call of the frogs. I moved the curtain some so it hid what I had done. Then I went back to cooking (p 15).

miles_from_ordinaryFrom the start, readers will recognize something is not quite right with Lacey’s life. Her granddaddy hangs over Lacey and her mother, ever watchful. His presence in their closed house is suffocating and it is left to Lacey to care for her mother.

The brilliance of this novel is in its mood, which sustains an almost uninterrupted though subtle intensity and foreshadowing that will have readers holding their breath, and its veracity. Lacey is completely formed and believable. What begins as realistic fiction crescendos to horror.

The pacing is perfect. I hate when a story withholds information as its only method of building suspense. Miles from Ordinary reveals its secrets slowly but steadily, building in complexity. An excellent and quick read.

Miles from Ordinary has received a starred review in Kirkus.


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