By Linda Carrillo. Resource Publications, 2020. 264 pages. $47/hardcover; $27/paperback or eBook.
Writing a novel is one of the trickiest undertakings I can imagine. Stories that make readers keep turning the page need to avoid the pitfalls of autobiography, predictability, stiff or undifferentiated characters that we can’t believe are “real,” and serving as a forum for the author’s own worldview. Novels are stories, above all, and novelists don’t all approach writing in the same way. Some insist you must write what you know; others create worlds that humans can’t possibly inhabit. Some use what remains unsaid to reveal the greatest truth; others rely on meticulous factual research.
In this story, Linda Carrillo uses believable circumstances to place the protagonist on a path that she follows to a crisis where she must make a decision. It’s a challenge to write believable dialogue, to pace the story, and still allow the protagonist to make choices. It’s a worthy undertaking, and this novel succeeds in creating the suspense that will keep readers turning the page.