This Must Be the Place: Review and Giveaway

This Must Be the Place by Kate Racculia

Release date: 2010 / 350 pages

First line: “Amy considered the postcard: a boardwalk scene.”

Synopsis (from back cover): “When Arthur Rook learns that his vital, creative wife, Amy, has been killed in an accident, he realizes to his horror that he has no idea what her last wishes would have been. Blindsided by the sudden loss and delirious with grief, he flees his home and job in Los Angeles, guided only by a pink shoebox full of Amy’s keepsakes.”

Review: Often when I sit down to write a review, I try to think of one adjective that best describes what I have jsut read.  In this case, one adjective was simply not enough as they crowded and jostled each other on to the page.  This novel is strange, dense, deep, sad, beautiful, and bizarre.  Every character but one is sympathetic and likeable, and the one who is neither is only present for 4 pages — yet influences the next 346 pages intimately, unknowingly, irresponsibly, uncaringly.

However, the other characters in the novel are so wholly likeable — and so original and unforgettable.  The perspective shifts between them, which works very well, fortunately, since the “plot” is only as strong and interesting as the characters.  And the author, Racculia, allows her readers intimate knowledge of each character, too.  This would be a lovely novel for a writing class focused on how to create living, breathing souls out of ink and paper.  Racculia does this so well, it’s almost disorienting.  How can these people not really be out in the world?

And, since this novel represents “real life” so well, there is pain and heartbreak, and joy and hope, and mortality and fear — in just the right amounts.  I was sad to see the characters go, but a bit exhausted from caring so deeply about Mona, and Arthur, and Oneida, and Wendy…  and by how “real” everyone and everything was, too.  However, I mostly loved the ending — even though it highlighted an implausible plot device in the novel.  But even this possible flaw was forgiven since the characters accepted it so well and allowed the reader to do so as well.

Sound interesting?  Feel free to drop me a comment and I’ll choose a winner by the weekend! 

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18 Responses to This Must Be the Place: Review and Giveaway

  1. Betsy says:

    Sounds like a great book – thanks for reviewing it and bringing it to my attention. Would love a copy!

  2. Theresa Cain says:

    This sounds like a great read! I’d love to win a copy!

  3. Anita Yancey says:

    I would like a chance to read this interesting book. Please enter me.

  4. Carol Wong says:

    This book sounds very interesting. Thank you for having the giveaway.

  5. Renee says:

    When you wrote in your review, “how to create living, breathing souls out of ink and paper,” that got me! I know that I enter for (almost) every single giveaway, but this time even if I don’t win, I am DEFINITELY going to buy this book. I call myself a “closet writer” and from reading your wonderful review, I think this may inspire to “come out of the closet” so to speak.
    Have a wonderful weekend,

  6. This sounds remarkable. Please enter me in the drawing.

  7. Marilyn says:

    Please consider me for this book. I love a book where the characters are so well drawn. I read a book for the story and/or the writing and/or the characters. Especially the characters. This also sounds like it might be a good book for one of my discussion groups.
    thanks for the review…

  8. wendy says:

    This book sounds intriguing. I’d love to win a copy-

  9. I’d love to read this book…it sounds really good. Thanks for the entry! This is a new author for me and I love hearing about any new authors and books they write. Thanks for your review.



  10. diana mack says:

    “implausible plot device” huh??? and you still loved it?
    i’m curious…..

  11. Kristen says:

    Yes! And I can’t reveal any details without giving away a part of the ending 🙂

    But the rest of the novel was so good, a few “blemishes” near the end were forgivable…

  12. Eileen says:

    I’d like to have a shot at winning this one. Sounds excellent.


  13. Linda says:

    Your character descriptions are vivid and because I know you were a former writing teacher, I can appreciate your comment “how to create living, breathing souls out of ink and paper” so very much. Enough said, I’m sold for this to be a TBR book–please count me into the drawing!

  14. Leah says:

    Sounds amazing! Please enter me in the drawing!

  15. I was just looking at this morning. Would love to win this copy. Thanks.

  16. Rin says:

    I would like to win this copy and read more about the interesting characters.

  17. Sue says:

    Sounds interesting – please include me. Thanks!

  18. Laurie says:

    This book looks really great. I always love reading the reviews. Please enter me in the drawing! Hope it isn’t too late!

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