Saturday, April 7, 2012

Review: Goliath - Susan Woodring

Author: Susan Woodring
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: April 24, 2012
Pages: 360
Read in: 1 week, 1 day

When Percy Harding, Goliath’s most important citizen, is discovered dead by the railroad tracks outside town one perfect autumn afternoon, no one can quite believe it’s really happened. Percy, the president of the town’s world-renowned furniture company, had seemed invincible. Only Rosamond Rogers, Percy’s secretary, may have had a glimpse of how and why this great man has fallen, and that glimpse tugs at her, urges her to find out more.
Percy isn’t the first person to leave Rosamond: everybody seems to, from her husband, Hatley, who walked out on her years ago; to her complicated daughter Agnes, whose girlhood bedroom was papered with maps of the places she wanted to escape to. The town itself is Rosamond’s anchor, but it is beginning to quiver with the possibility of change. The high school girls are writing suicide poetry. The town’s young, lumbering sidewalk preacher is courting Rosamond’s daughter. A troubled teenaged boy plans to burn Main Street to the ground. And the furniture factory itself—the very soul of Goliath—threatens to close.
In the wake of the town’s undoing, Rosamond seeks to reunite the grief-shaken community. Goliath, a story of loss and love, of forgiveness and letting go, is a lyrical swoon of a novel by an exceptionally talented newcomer.

A Teenager's Perspective:

OMG, we were so excited to receive this book in the mail! We haven't officially started up our 'In My Mailbox' feature, but we're working on it ... we promise. Anyways, this was our first ever win from Goodreads, a contest that was apparently sponsored by St. Martin's Press. So, we'd just like to say, thank you!

Oh, right. "Goliath." This was kind of a first for us. From Susan Woodring, and a little out of our young adult realm. Not that this book isn't ... wasn't an amazing book for teens to read, because well, we loved it. (Though, we only got one copy so we passed it back, and forth in order to be able to read to ourselves, and each other.)

In the small town of Goliath, one of the town's most respected men, commits suicide. This comes as a big shock, to the many citizens of Goliath. The novel seems to focus mainly on his secretary, Rosamond, and the people that entwine with her life, and her road to closure. Her past, and present all come into play during this novel. As her feelings for Percy, and the people around her become more apparent. Her thoughts, and actions all accurately depict this real-life crisis. The small town, all comes together to mourn Percy Harding's death, but also really see each other for their potential. As the novel progresses, new bonds are formed, as old bonds are broken, and it becomes clear that the people of Goliath, truly are linked to one another.

Susan Woodring does an amazing job constructing these characters. We loved the detail she put into every single scene, destination, and new-found discovery. It kind of gives you an insight into the small town, Goliath, and the people living in it.

This was a longer read for us, but it was definetley worth it. Woodring's inspirational writing leaves us dumbfounded, and stealing quotes anywhere we can find them. We were a little concerned with the flow of the book, though. The way the characters seem to have their own stories, that somehow entwine with the lives other citizens; left us a little ... confused. It went from past, to present, to hoping for the future. So, in the end, we had to clean up a bit of a mess.

Overall, this book was amazing, and we would read it again, but, the show must go on. We loved Woodring's style of writing. It really makes you think about yourself as a person, the lives of the people around you, and how you each link to other people. We hope to be reading more by Woodring, soon enough. We'll keep a lookout, while we quickly add her to our list of lovable authors.