by Justin Kramon
on Tour October 1 - November 30, 2013
Genre: Thriller / Psychological Thriller / Women's Fiction Published by: Pegasus/Norton Publication Date: 10/15/13 Number of Pages: 288 ISBN: 978-1-60598-480-3
Purchase Links:** Note: Explicit sexual scenes
To Sam Blount, meeting Julia is the best thing that has ever happened to him. Working at the local college and unsuccessful in his previous relationships, he’d been feeling troubled about his approaching fortieth birthday, “a great beast of a birthday,” as he sees it, but being with Julia makes him feel young and hopeful. Julia Stilwell, a freshman trying to come to terms with a recent tragedy that has stripped her of her greatest talent, is flattered by Sam’s attention. But their relationship is tested by a shy young man with a secret, Marcus Broley, who is also infatuated with Julia. Told in alternating points of view, The Preservationist is the riveting tale of Julia and Sam’s relationship, which begins to unravel as the threat of violence approaches—and Julia becomes less and less sure whom to trust.
Read an excerpt:
Justin Kramon is the author of the novels Finny (Random House, 2010) and The Preservationist (Pegasus, 2013). A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, he has received honors from the Michener-Copernicus Society of America, Best American Short Stories, the Hawthornden International Writers' Fellowship, and the Bogliasco Foundation. He lives in Philadelphia.
Each character, of course, is not what they seem to be. Or are they? What really spoke to me was Mr. Kramon's writing--often times ambiguous, other times lovely in its simplicity. Many times I felt as though there was this undercurrent beneath what was going on in this thriller that is hard to fully explain. It was pretty cool though. The story is told from the points of view of these three characters in third person so the reader feels a sense of individual fulfillment while still feeling incomplete. One may think the characters aren't fully developed enough to connect with and that is where the author gets his point across. My understanding is do we ever really know anyone? Even when being honest, isn't it possible to also deceive?
Each character has a unique way of viewing the world which plays into the building mystery of what is going on. There are plenty of twists and turns to keep anyone invested and the pace is quick enough through most of the book until it takes off at the end. The Preservationist is not the kind of in-your-face thriller, it works better beneath the scenes or behind-the-curtains per say, which only adds to its quirky, offbeat, and deceptive charm. I haven't read a book like this in quite some time. The story grows on the reader, sneaky and effective, and has undeniable staying power. There were so many beautiful lines to re-read and appreciate the glory of the wording or its imagery. I would call The Preservationist a quiet but powerful gem.
The cover image plays perfectly to my comment in my review about feeling an undercurrent while reading. I think this image is genius.