Yup, here is a terrific new novel by Tanya Egan Gibson - How to Buy a Love of Reading, and the book is every bit as engaging as the title. She a new writer of fiction living here in Northern California. I attended her very first reading the other night at Book Passage in Corte Madera, cheered her on, bought an autographed copy, and read and read and read some more. This book is a huge chunk of change - I think it was ten years in the making - full of emotion and passion, reality shows, and protagonists in search of love and self with a surprisingly fresh twist.
I would characterize Tanya Egan Gibson’s delicious debut novel, How to Buy a Love of Reading, as love stories between three couples even though ‘love story’ isn’t the premise of her book. Or is it? But these love stories come with a twist, wherein the power of choice prevails as the characters literally rewrite their stories, their lives, and their fate. Actually there are three tales of love within two parallel stories.
In this is complex novel Gibson’s characters are very much alive, but, after all is said and done, it is not the people, but rather the story or stories themselves that become the power brokers in Gibson’s artistic hands.
Gibson is a word wizard with an uncanny knack for building character to the extent that the couples, Carley and Hunter and Bree and Justin (Rock Star), walk right out of the pages and pull us into their lives where the bonds of convoluted love link them as though they have no choice.
Within How to Buy a Love of Reading there is a story being written by the unsuccessful author, Bree McEnroy, for the main protagonist, Carley Wells, after Bree, is ‘bought’ by Carley’s mega-wealthy parents to write a book just for her in the hope that she’ll never again say that she has never met a book she liked. This inner story, conceived by Bree as a 21st Century reality television show based in a Medieval world, portrays a third couple, Buck and Jules, as they struggle with the challenges of love, reality vs. fantasy, and choice, essentially mirroring the main story of the present-day connection between Carley with Hunter and Bree with Justin, and, for that matter, the stories of love and lovers throughout time.
Gibson demands one’s attention through her energy, wit, and irony and then asks the reader to read between the lines to get the point – all the while navigating a rapid river. Great read, great work out!
The Story Woman ask sons and daughters to write Mother Memoir to keep spirits alive one story at a time.