Ten Miles One Way by Patrick Downes (199 pages)
Overview: Nest and Q set out on a walk as the night turns to morning. They both know it will be long an unusual, possibly painful, but both understand; they're prepared. Q is ready for the chance to be with his best friend, his crush, to understand how her tangled mind works. Nest wants to share things with him for the first time since they met four years ago. This ten mile walk unfolds Nest's story with Q as a silent observer. He uses this morning three years later when he's left alone to grapple with the "why" of tragedy. Overall: 5
Characters: 5 Nest and Q are extremely well developed for how short the novel is and for how the story is mainly a monologue by Nest. Q is the narrator and the way he frames Nest's words is more revealing of his character than any part of the dialogue he could have had. Nest, on the other hand, owns all the words, and her fragmented stories shape her personal narrative and struggle with mental illness, mania, depression, and her Chimera.
Plot: 5 The plot of this book is fascinating. Told mile by mile, Nest rambles about her life, about her nature, and about incidents who have built who she is. This is engaging and fascinating to listen to. Q's additional commentary about the surroundings, the movement creates an even more compelling narrative.
Writing: 5 I am blown away by this book. It's probably the most unique novel I've ever read. Downes takes all of my favorite elements of flash fiction and puts them into his incredibly short novel. One morning to uncover all the clues framed by a remarkable tragedy. The vignette type writing, and building the world and characters through scattered monologues that all come together in the end leaves the reader breathless.
Links of Interest:
Girl In Pieces: http://www.readingwritingandme.com/2017/04/standout-book-girl-in-pieces.html
I See London, I See France: http://www.readingwritingandme.com/2017/12/i-see-london-i-see-france.html
Who's That Girl?: http://www.readingwritingandme.com/2017/12/whos-that-girl.html