A Good Read
By Cait Collins
I have a list of favorite authors and look forward to the announcements of new releases. Nora Roberts is on that list. Her most recent release, Shelter in Place, is a great read. We hear about mass shootings almost daily. Too often, the focus seems to be on the shooter and less on the victims and survivors.
In her new book, Ms. Roberts focuses on the lives of the victims and survivors. While the mastermind of the shooting lives and tries to pick off her select set of survivors, the main characters are those who lived and found a purpose for their lives and peace for the loss of those they loved. The Mastermind contributes to the novel without becoming the prime character. Her presence in the story is to elicit responses from the other characters and contribute to their decisions and to their fears. It is the strength, vulnerability, and the determination of the living that move the plot.
Roberts’ dialogue is, as always, spot on, allowing the characters to express their doubts and dreams. The inner thought reveals so much about CiCi, Simone, and Reed. It moves each person toward climatic revelations. I learned about them as they discovered themselves. I could not put the book down.
Settings are another selling point of her work. She picks interesting places: Ireland, the horse racing and breeding farms of Kentucky, the haunted regions of Louisiana, Chesapeake Bay, and the rocky coastline of Maine. The reader can picture himself or herself in the locations. And if it’s a new place to the reader, they create a desire to experience first-hand, the settings.
Does this mean I have enjoyed every Nora Roberts novel that I’ve read? The answer is a simple no. While there are titles I have not enjoyed as much as others, I’ve always found good, even brilliant, passages or characters, and I’ve always found new approaches for difficult situations. She has taught me much about the craft of writing. I always look forward to her releases because I know they will be good reads.