A Mini Review of "Knee-Deep in Wonder" by April ReynoldsKnee-Deep in Wonder takes you on a journey through the tangled soul and tangled past of Helene as she returns to the town of her longing.
I found Reynolds' debut novel impossible to put down. With each pen stroke a snapshot is taken of the elementals of a town and the lives within it. Each word balances on the next, drawing the reader in and at the same time showing how this town and its people are so intwined with one another.
Reynolds draws life size images of Helene's family: unbalanced, beautiful, abandoned, longing and strong. As we watch each of the strong women seek what they think will make them whole (and create it when they can't find it from seeking), we not only get a picture of a family but of a suffocating small town in Arkansas as well.
Creating lush characters on the page, you can't help but keep reading, even though this story focuses on the hard edge of small town Southern life through the decades. Without wasting a word we get to explore what life events shaped each main character, and each character's life is like a poem to their destiny, drawing us in.
This book is highly recommended for it's lyrical prose that speaks with a jazz/blues beat and conjures fully drawn characters to walk beside you as you read.