Sunday, August 10, 2014

What is Holly Menino reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Holly Menino, author of A Distance to Death.

Her entry begins:
Because I still wonder what makes a good short story as compared with a good novel requires, I've been reading lots of stories lately. Elizabeth Spencer, Alice Munro, a collection edited by Tom Perrotta, and most recently Lorrie Moore. If I had to come up with a single word to define Moore's new collection Bark, I'd say attachment. If I were allowed two words, I'd say attachment and loss. Loneliness is a silent observer in these stories of people finding, clinging, leaving or being left.

Time jumps around—but that doesn't matter because so much of the sequence in these stories is emotional—and as it passes Moore's characters do some startling things. A doting mother invites a new boyfriend over to meet her teenage son, and after dinner mother and son amuse themselves by wrestling as if she were a boy his own age. In another story a woman offers her lemon meringue pie to a friend, and when it is refused, she slams the pie into her own face. A few minutes later, saying good-bye, she declares, "Onward," and since we've already witnessed her death, we know...[read on]
About the book, from the publisher:
Tink Elledge is back in the saddle—and in more danger than ever. The race is a hundred miles through the Sierra Nevada against a backdrop of Darwin, evolution, and intelligent design. Smart, deftly plotted, and tuned to ongoing debate, this mystery is perfect for fans of Dick Francis.

Tink Elledge is a woman who doesn’t take well to sitting still—not when it comes to husbands, not when it comes to looking after her stepson Stephen, and certainly not when it comes to horses. So when she gets the chance to ride in a competition again—even on a trail as grueling as the steep twists and turns of the legendary Tevis endurance trail ride—she jumps at it. In the Sierra mountain wilderness, she and her friend Isabel—an avid horsewoman and Darwin devotee--will race across one hundred miles of spectacular gorges and cross heart-stopping fords.

Meanwhile, Stephen and Tink’s husband, Charlie, are nearby working on a new partnership with the brilliant but secretive scientist James Grant-Worthington. When Grant-Worthington suddenly dies of not-so-natural causes, the entire deal is thrown into question. Eager to help, Tink begins searching for clues, starting with Josh Untemeyer, the PR manager for the institute Grant-Worthington founded to promote the theory of intelligent design, who has also been pursuing Isabel. As Tink and Isabel join the pack of elite riders and their horses scramble up the vertiginous, narrow trail, Josh goes missing. Tink must sort through the secrets and lies in a race against time to cross the finish line and save the two people she cares for most in this lively, page-turning novel from acclaimed author Holly Menino.
Visit Holly Menino's website.

Writers Read: Holly Menino.

--Marshal Zeringue