Claire Cameron brings us her first novel, The Line Painter. In it, we meet the main character Carrie, who is in the middle of a traumatic and confusing period of her life. All we know at first is that she is running away from something, but what? or who? When the car she is driving breaks down, she finds herself alone, in the middle of nowhere. A truck pulls up, a guy gets out and offers to help and Carrie finds herself feeling nervous, afraid, or as the guy puts it, "creeped". Ignoring her instincts, she accepts a ride to the next town. What follows is a suspenseful, intense and at times, heartstopping tale which keeps the reader guessing until the very end.
This book has a great storyline and brilliantly written characters. Along with the two main characters, are a selection of colourful and memorable folk. I love that each of the characters, no matter how fleeting their appearance, seem incredibly real. It is probably the attention to detail that is constant throughout, enough to paint a picture and yet not drown out the story. It is one of the most realistic novels I have read and captures the attention of the reader from the very start. The pages ooze with raw energy and emotion and the descriptions reach right into the heart of the reader.
My favourite scene, which I won't go into in too much detail so as to not ruin it for you when you buy this book, is when Carrie loses control for a short time. She screams and the author writes that scene in such a skillful manner that she gives the emotion a physical form, a form so real that I felt that had I held my fingers closer, I could have reached out and touched it, and been enveloped and consumed by it. That's something I haven't experienced before, in any book.
It's also rare for me to read a book and feel exhilarated and drained all at once, but this book left me feeling that I hadn't just read this novel, but had been there, on the road with the characters, experiencing it all first hand. I think that came from the fact that the reader has to use their own imagination and mind to fill in the spaces that are left intentionally for that purpose. The reader has no choice but to feel more involved. That added a lot to my enjoyment of The Line Painter.
An incredible first book which I couldn't put down and since it's a pretty quick read, I didn't have to. I can't wait to see what Claire Cameron comes up with next.
Author's website: http://www.claire-cameron.com/
The author speaks about her book: Click here to view