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Until September by Chris Scully
Anticipated release date: February 8, 2016
I was a bit unsure about this book. I’d read a couple of Chris Scully’s short stories in the past, and really enjoyed them. But shorts are very different from full length novels. And I wasn’t sure if the plot would be quite my thing‐ Archer, a successful nonfiction author, has been running from his past and his Cree heritage for his whole life. But his sister dies suddenly, and Archer finds himself caring for his young niece and nephew. He has no idea how to look after children, and doesn’t even really want to at all. The only person who convinces him to help is Ryan, a teacher who agrees to stay with Archer and the children until September, when, hopefully, Archer will have settled into his new role.
Stories about families and kids are just…not really my thing, because kids freak me out. So, yeah, I was nervous, a bit. But this book did not let me down. It was so sweet and so lovely and I just really enjoyed it.
The sweetness of this book… I was worried here, too, because the sweetness factor in the short stories of Chris Scully’s that I had read was almost toothache inducing, which is fine in a short but not really in a novel. And this was sweet, but in a lovely, wonderful, fuzzy feelings kind of way. It wasn’t over the top. The relationships between all of the characters were just articulated so well, and felt so real, and I cared about what happened to them. And the romance was believable and honest and excellent.
And the characters themselves! I really enjoyed how well thought‐out they were, too. They felt like real people, and even when I didn’t particularly like them (Archer is difficult) I was intrigued by them, and I could empathize. And I wanted to know what would happen.
The writing was solid. Not overly pretty or anything, but neatly done and enjoyable. And the book drew me in, right away. I started reading and didn’t want to put it down. Nothing terribly exciting ever happens, but it was easy to be completely invested in what was going on. And it never felt false or strained. It just…flowed along, and I enjoyed that.
I also really liked the aspects of Archer’s past and his thoughts about his heritage. This was an interesting but very sensitive topic. I can’t speak from a personal place on this, but I thought the author handled it really well. It wasn’t in your face like some kind of lesson, but it was present and well‐represented, so as a reader, I got a real feel for the struggles of this situation.
So pretty much, I just loved this. I’d read it again, and I’d definitely read anything else by this author.
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