Monday, August 23, 2010

The Beth Effect

Beth Kephart's fifth novel, Dangerous Neighbors, releases today though I spotted a copy in the store yesterday.

I had the great privilege to read Dangerous Neighbors several months ago. For those of you who have read Kephart's previous work, it's a bit of a departure. This is a historical fiction novel and rich in detail. While the protagonist is a young woman, this short book could easily find itself in the adult section of the bookstore. But in every way that's important, this is one hundred percent a Kephart novel.

The language is rich and lyrical, Beth uses words in a way that makes you pause and think about things differently. She paints scenes in vivid detail highlighting the senses necessary to experience what is happening with the characters. But more than anything, she writes with such emotional honesty, that I have never finished her work without sweet aching hope rising up within me.

While chatting with Hannah in Nashville recently, we coined it "the Beth Effect." I always enter in deeply with the characters, seduced by the beauty of the language, my heart opened up to the wounds they also face, but by the end, I feel as though these open tender sore spots have been stitched back together with hope.

There's nothing more I ever want from any story than to close it with hope. Hope is the sustaining force of our world, because even when you cannot love, you can hope for love and it's the first step to making it so.

When I finished Dangerous Neighbors, I recognized the feeling inside of me..that I had been on a journey and come out on the side of hope. I have felt this way before, many times, but always always when finishing a story by Beth Kephart.

Dangerous Neighbors is in stores today. Congratulations to Beth and I hope you all take the journey and experience the Beth effect!

(So you have all the information to make your own judgement, Beth Kephart is a client of Winsome Media Communications)


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