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Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2017-01-30
- Reviewer: Staff
Actress Tamblyn, known for playing the title role in the TV series Joan of Arcadia, inhabits Hoffmans story so naturally it is almost as if it was written for her. The novel opens with a car accident involving two high school seniors on a snowy night on Long Island. The accident leaves one of the young women, Helen, in a coma and the other, Shelby Richmond, who was driving the car, seemingly determined to punish herself in perpetuity for what happened to her friend. Tamblyn captures the bleak despair of the novels opening and then slowly, gingerly, traces Shelbys fledgling attempts to build a life for herself. Sometimes Shelbys early behavior is appalling, but it stems from her self-hatred and survivors guilt; the challenge for Tamblyn is to depict the raw fury of Shelbys aftermath but also show listeners enough of the characters goodness and humanity that they champion her cause. She portrays Shelby as tough as nails but also achingly vulnerable. She also turns in fabulous interpretations of other characters, particularly of Maravelle, a single mom trying to make ends meet in New York whom Shelby befriends later in life. A Simon & Schuster hardcover. (Nov.)