I've been a fan of Sandy Novack's short stories for years. And I've come to know her a little through the internet and through her sage advice on my own writing. What I know about her personally is this: she's smart, funny, and extraordinarily kind. What I learned about her after reading her debut novel is that the depth of her soul and her heart must be so large as to be immeasurable because surely one cannot write a story like this one with anything less. This novel had me sobbing not just at the end, but also in the middle at the most unexpected times. Novack is a writer who understands the power of connecting emotionally to her reader.
Precious is the story of what happens to a family when a little girl goes missing in their small town. But while the disappearance hangs heavy in the periphery, a storm is raging within the Kisch family. And journeying through that storm, one learns just how vulnerable a child's (and teen's) limited understanding of the adult world makes her. The aftermath leaves no one untouched, including this reader.
As a writer I was impressed with Novack's technical ability: lovely, exciting, elegant sentences that weave the tale, seemingly effortless, from start to finish; masterful handling of the omniscient pov; and brilliantly carved characters--all things to be admired, and for me at least, to be studied.
Reading this book was a rewarding and gut-wrenching Experience. I cannot wait to read another by this extremely talented author.
- Originally from Vermont, I now live in North Carolina. My work can be found in recent issues of REAL: Regarding Arts and Letters, The Jabberwock Review, The Emerson Review, Storyglossia, The MacGuffin, Confrontation, Passages North, SmokeLong Quarterly, elimae, wigleaf, and Pank, among others, and forthcoming from Gargoyle #57 and REAL: Regarding Arts and Letters. One of my stories has been translated into Farsi by Asadollah Amraee, and many others by Jalil Jafari, two of which have been published in the Iranian journal, Golestaneh Magazine. For two years I worked as an assistant editor for Narrative Magazine. Currently, I serve as a mentor for Dzanc's Creative Writing Sessions. I'm working on two novels and a short story collection. In May, I was awarded the Carol Houck Smith Contributor Scholarship for the 2011 Bread Loaf Writers' Conference.