Stiltsville by Susanna Daniels
Published by Harper, an imprint of Harper Collins
“Stiltsville” is, primarily the story of a marriage, of a family. The Ellerbys, Frances and Dennis, deal with family, temptation, parenting, and financial issues. What makes “Stiltsville” stand out from every other character-driven novel about marriages is its setting. The title refers to the stilt houses in the Bay of Biscune in Miami, where the Ellerbys have a share in a house.
So, to be completely honest, I have not finished “Stiltsville” yet. This has must been a bad couple of weeks for reading. However, since this is a book I have from TLC for a tour, and since my Chicago Author Month starts tomorrow so I can’t really reschedule this, I’m just going to give you some of my thoughts thus far.
Daniels is a strong writer, and this novel is definitely well crafted – which is good, since she spent 10 years writing it. Frances, the main character is well-developed, and I loved the opening scene of the novel, in which Frances and Dennis meet.
Another thing I think that Daniels does particularly well is the passage of time. We went from the birth of Dennis and Frances’ daughter Margo through her departure for college in about 100 pages, but I never felt that Daniels was either rushing or drawing out the story. She chose key points in Margo’s childhood that shined a light effectively on both her character and those of her parents.
So far this is a highly competent first novel, in which everything, down to the characters’ smallest actions, is eminently believable. Please see some of the other reviews from this tour for more formal reviews of this book.
I read this book as part of a TLC Book Tour. Check out some of the other tour hosts for more reviews. Links go to the host’s site, not to their specific review.
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Friday, September 17th: Reading at the Beach
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