One of the best things about working in publishing is that you’re constantly surrounded by books, and you’re always reading.
However, one of the worst things about working in publishing is that you’re always reading for work, and sometimes it’s hard to get back to the idea of doing that particular activity for pleasure.
My shelves at home are full of books that I’ve picked up from work, with the thought that I would read them someday...like after retirement...
So, imagine my delight, when I stumbled upon a wonderful novel called LAKE OVERTURN by Vestal McIntyre. Well, to be completely honest, I had heard of this author before as a short story writer and remembered his name, because it was so unusual (Vestal--where does that come from?).
Set in a small Idaho town in the 1980s, LAKE OVERTURN is an ensemble piece. At its center are two women who live in a trailer park: Lina, a second-generation Mexican who works as a maid; and her neighbor Connie, a devout Christian. Lina’s son, Enrique, and Connie’s son, Gene, are classmates.
When challenged to come up with a project for the school science fair, Enrique and Gene devise a plot to prove that the waters of nearby Lake Overlook could “turn” and release poisonous gases that would kill everyone in town. The rest of the cast includes a surly bus driver, his wayward sister, and a man who cheats on his cancer-stricken wife--and McIntyre finds the humanity in each and every one of them.
Truly, it’s one of the best books I’ve read all year. So, if with the cooler weather you’re in the mood to read something meatier--something that will really stick to your bones--be sure to check out this debut novel.