Monday 8 July 2013

The Next Time You See Me by Holly Goddard Jones

"Thirteen-year-old Emily Houchens doesn't have many friends.  She spends her time alone in the woods near her house - her safe place, until she finds the body of a young woman.
Susanna Mitchell is searching for her sister, Ronnie, who vanished after leaving a late-night bar.  The more she discovers about Ronnie's life, the more she realises that her sister began to disappear long before she went missing.
The Next Time You See Me is a brilliantly nuanced, psychologically astute debut that explores the fault-lines of a small community - its hidden desires and its other, secret selves."

Holly Goddard Jones' debut novel centres around the discovery of a body, and the disappearance of a young woman.  Yet despite this theme, this is not just a mystery story, or a thriller.   The author has written a story of small-town insecurities that often manifest themselves into downright cruelty.  
With a cast of deeply-flawed, and often troubled characters, The Next Time You See Me is a dark and brooding tale that closely examines the lives of every-day people and how their actions impact upon each other.

One of the main 'characters' of this at times, hauntingly sad story is the town of Roma itself.  Taking centre stage, it is described as 'neither a bad place, nor a nice place', perfectly summing up this small introverted little place whose residents feel no loyalty to, and would just like to get out of.

The Next Time You See Me is not a joyful read, there are no 'fun' characters, nor is it a fast-paced action story.  It is however, beautifully written with characters who are exposed and vulnerable.

My thanks go to Corinna Zifko at Atlantic Books who sent my copy for review.

The Next Time You See Me was published here in the UK by Corvus (Atlantic Books) on July 4 2013.

Holly Goddard Jones is the author of Girl Trouble: Stories.  Her fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Tin House, Epoch, Best American Mystery Stories, New Stories from the South, and elsewhere, and she was a 2007 recipient of the Rona Jaffa Foundation Writers' Award.  She teaches in the MFA programme at UNC Greensboro and lives in North Carolina with her husband, Brandon.  The Next Time You See Me is her first novel.

For more information about the author visit her website at, like her on Facebook, or follow her on Twitter

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