Thursday, June 23, 2016
Chapel of Ease by Alex Bledsoe (Publication date September 6 2016)
This novel, Chapel of Ease, is due out September 6, 2016. I am completely grateful to Diana Pho at Tor Books, for not making me wait that long, and getting me an ARC. Chapel of Ease stands apart from the first three books (The Hum and the Shiver, A Wisp of A Thing, The Long Black Curl) as it is partially set in New York City, but overlaps for a portion of the book with the familiar setting of Cloud County. My experience with the other three books was to get completely lost in the rhythms, melodies, and words laced throughout the story. With this book, though the novel is essentially about a musical written by a Tufa, to open off-Broadway, the music didn't carry me as much, but the telling of the story did. Maybe that's because I also happen to love books that weave two story-lines. And, if one is in the past, and one present day, even better. From the moment this story started, through to the very last lines, it held me. (See plot summary kindly provided by Tor Books here.)
Reading this in the wake of the horrific shooting in Orlando also helped a bit in my processing of that tear in our fabric of humanity. The explorations of differences in groups of people, in sexual orientation, in beliefs, and even in the biases of country vs city/city vs country that were so carefully, and eloquently developed within the plot helped with my own inner dialogue. It all flowed quite naturally, as a piece of the plot, not like the remuddles I've seen plastered on other stories to bring them up to date. I'm so very happy to have a novel that presents a really interesting non-stereotypical gay man as a main character, not as a sidekick. I, as a straight woman, really liked being inside his head, and in his heart. I also liked yet another glimpse of the magic that may be hidden in our world, and how it may not be confined only to those mountains in Cloud County.
I have to wait a bit for the next novel in the series (even for an ARC) but I will try to be patient. We're headed to our mountain cabin in Rabun county, and I may even dust off my dulcimer. But, before that, I have a big decision to make: which of Alex Bledsoe's series do I explore next?
tags:2016-read, a-favorite-author, advanced-reader-copy, corresponded-with-author, didn-t-want-to-put-it-down, fantasy, made-me-look-something-up, made-me-think, magic, magical, part-start-of-a-series, places-i-have-been, rabun-county-and-thereabouts, read, thought-provoking, tor, will-look-for-more-by-this-author