Kat Warren's Reviews > Witches on the Road Tonight

Witches on the Road Tonight by Sheri Holman
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Apr 09, 11

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Finally, the first drop-my-jaw-in-awe book of 2011.

Some writers are a "brand" which is to say you know exactly what you're going to get when you pick up one of their books. So not so with Holman; you don't even know what time frame you might be inhabiting: the 15th century of "A Stolen Tongue," the 19th century of "The Dress Lodger" or the 20th century of "The Mammoth Cheese." Another Holman hallmark: her books invariably disport unusual titles.

I cannot fathom why there has been little buzz around this new novel. So far. Maybe I'm too eager and missed the opening reviews. The PW and Booklist reviews here on Amazon don't reflect the book I read and they're good reviews overall but lack the excitement of readerly greed satisfied so richly and rarely.

"Witches on the Road Tonight" is hallelujah-finest-kind. I had to rise early on a Saturday morning expressly to read the last 50 pages.

Why was I mesmerized (eponym alert)? Holman specializes in story telling and in this book she exceeds the bar. At the same time, the writing, language, depictions, evocations, great heart put flesh on her story and I don't mean it to sound muscular because the result delivers distilled but non-fussy elegance uncommon in a very good story. The WPA element doesn't hurt, either. {Yes, we're in the 20th century again but roaming about some.) Tired Appalachia here is fulsomely rendered -- luscious, gorgeous and time-out-of-mind dangerous.

I expect I've found the book I'll be pushing (ok, I'll be nice, evangelizing) on all and sundry this year. Stay tuned and stand by your mailboxes y'all who call me friend.
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