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Something Rising (Light and Swift)by Haven Kimmel
Cassie Claiborne is a street-smart Nine-Ball prodigy, a temperamental tomboy, too knowing to accept her surroundings and too circumscribed by them to find release. I was less than thirty pages into Something Rising and already I sensed I'd be missing her by the novel's end. It was something in the voice, Kimmel's confidence, the comfort of her prose. She uses commas like clothespins, as if pinning long woven clauses to the lines. The wind flows through her sentences. The voice of Something Rising seems so natural, in fact, that it was something of a surprise to encounter the broad range of Kimmel's other work. A Girl Named Zippy is that rarest of accomplishments: a captivating — and happy — childhood memoir; a priceless portrait of small town America, wise beyond its narrator's years. The Solace of Leaving Early, meanwhile, plumbs philosophy and theology to explore timeless notions of faith, grief, and responsibility. They're each worth reading, but I started with Something Rising, and it proved an excellent place to begin.
Synopses & Reviews
In her first two books, Haven Kimmel claimed her spot on the literary scene- surprising readers with her memoir, A Girl Named Zippy, and winning an outpouring of critical acclaim for her first novel, The Solace of Leaving Early. Now, in her second novel, she brings to the page a heroine's tireless quest for truth, love, justice, and the perfect game of 9-ball.
Cassie Claiborne's world is riddled with problems beyond her control: her hard- living, pool-shooting father has another wife; her stoic, long-suffering mother is incapable of moving herself mentally away from the kitchen window; her sister Belle is a tempest of fragility and brilliance; her closest friends, Puck and Emmy, are adolescent harbingers of their own doomed futures. Frustrated by her inability to care deeply enough for so many troubled souls, Cassie finds in the local pool hall an oasis of green felt where she can master objects and restrain her emotions.
As Cassie grows from a quietly complex girl into a headstrong youngwoman, she takes on the thankless role of family provider by working odd jobs and hustling pool. All the while, she keeps her eye on the ultimate prize: wringing suitable justice out of past wrongs and freeing herself from the inertia that is her life.
In this ultimately uplifting story, Haven Kimmel reaches deep into the hamstrung souls of her fictional corner of Indiana. Remarkable for its tough tenderness, Something Rising (Light and Swift) is an astonishing work of pure heartbreak.
"With a tougher core than her previous books, and an ending that's redemptive without being cliched, Kimmel's latest is another winner." Publishers Weekly
"A connection to the characters in her first novel will make readers of Solace smile, and those new to Kimmel will find her thoughtful prose evocative and fresh. A beautiful coming-of-age story." Kristine Huntley, Booklist
"Gorgeously written and brilliantly conceived, Something Rising (Light and Swift) is touching and funny and warm and spirited." Augusten Burroughs
"It's hard not to wish for an immediate follow-up novel about Cassie. As she's proven with her memoir, A Girl Named Zippy, and her first novel, The Solace of Leaving Early, Haven Kimmel is a writer who's work is worthy of any reader's time." Southern Scribe
"This is one author who will not waste your time. She can sum up a minor character — hell, she can sum up ancestry — in a single sentence....If this book were a pool game, Kimmel would run the table all night long." Malcolm Jones, Newsweek
"Haven Kimmel is among the most talented writers on the planet and Something Rising (Light and Swift) is one of those rare, memorable novels that is complete in every regard." Martin Clark
"Kimmel's second novel...fulfills all the promise of her earlier books. Kimmel writes with a sharp eye and an empathetic sweetness that together are irresistible....Whether funny, poignant or simply descriptive, her writing illuminates." Tricia Snell, The Oregonian
"Kimmel uses language the way Cassie wields her cue: with precision and skill and what seems to be an innate sense about where to place things." Connie Ogle, Miami Herald
"Kimmel, who clearly knows her way around a pool table, writes some mean sentences, as crisp as a perfectly executed bank shot....Kimmel's novel will drain your emotions." Bob Minzesheimer, USA Today
From the author of the #1 "New York Times" bestselling memoir "A Girl Named Zippy" comes a heartbreaking novel about a young female pool hustler trapped in a small Indiana town.
About the Author
Haven Kimmel is the author of The Solace of Leaving Early and A Girl Named Zippy. She studied English and creative writing at Ball State University and North Carolina State University, and attended seminary at the Earlham School of Religion. She lives in Durham, North Carolina.
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