Next week’s Writestream Tuesday resumes interviews with the talented authors of the CLFA on Facebook. I’m thrilled to welcome Jack July, author of the exceptional novel Amy Lynn, to the show on March 18 at 1 p.m. Eastern:
Come fall in love with a little Southern Christian Girl as well as her eclectic family as she grows into a woman, a very special woman with very special skills. Life is a journey, Amy Lynn takes a wild one. The violence and sexuality of this book make it inappropriate for those under 16 years of age.
July’s book enjoys an amazing five-star rating with 52 reviews on Amazon like this one:
I originally bought this book as an act of charity. The author participates on a blog that I frequent, he mentioned a few months ago that he had written a book. “Good for you” I thought, and then moved on. In the weeks following, I noticed a few people commenting how much they liked the book. This plus the fact that I had always liked Jack’s posts on the blog led me to but the book. I figured, “Hey, he seems like a nice guy, I’ll throw him a buck or two in royalties”.
Boy, am I glad that I did. What Mr. July has done here is commit a wanton act of storytelling. The book reads like a tale told by a much loved older relative, the kind of thing that keeps kids spellbound on the porch of the family home as a perfect summer evening darkens to night. At times while I was reading it I almost expected to see the wink of a firefly in my peripheral vision or to hear the whine of a mosquito as settled onto my neck for a late evening snack. That’s the world Mr. July takes you to, and the prose is so brisk and compelling that it almost seems that, to steal a line from the newsreels, “YOU ARE THERE!”.
Amy Lynn is a delightfully charming coming of age story that should replace the putrid A Separate Peace in middle school classrooms across the nation (God DAMN you John Knowles, 30+ years later and I still keenly feel the loss of however many hours I wasted on your excrement). If I had one complaint it’s that the author seems to slightly overuse the deus ex machina plot device, but it’s always in the service of moving the story forward and can be forgiven. If Mr. July continues to write stories, however, he might want to keep a close eye on this tendency. Late in the book, as the story of a simple hillbilly girl has widened onto the world stage, the President of the United States appears. I laughed out loud with glee when I realized that what Mr. July had done, giving me at least in fiction something I had devoutly hoped for in real life. Thanks for that Mr. July, I loved it.
In short, buy this book. If you don’t want to, buy it anyway, it’s just that good.
I cannot wait to interview Jack July on Writestream Tuesday on March 18 at 1 p.m. Eastern. As always, we welcome your calls at 347-945-7246 and your participation in the live chat!
UPDATE: Did you miss it live? Click below to listen.