Embraceable You
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Pages: 68
Goes Well With: Baked fish, brown and wild rice, and hushpuppies

In my first couple of years of grade school, I had no friends, and everyone picked on me. To this day, I don’t really know why, unless it had something to do with me being so quiet and shy. Something like that leaves a scar, as it did for the characters in Kat Henry Doran’s Embraceable You.

Ever since his arrival in Summerville, New York as a child, life has been rough on Sheriff Rory McElroy. Fellow classmates picked on him because of his deformed hand, which was broken by his abusive father. Only one girl would stick up for him: Druzilla Horrath. Now he has a beautiful daughter and a decent career. But when the chief asks him to attend his class reunion as a sort of bodyguard for one of the attendees, he’s not crazy about the idea—until he discovers that he’s protecting Druzilla.

Druzilla Horrath Boyd faced her share of bullies in school, but she went on to be a famous photojournalist on the brink of picking up her second Pulitzer. Though she has no desire to attend her class reunion, a fifty-thousand-dollar award, to be presented to her at the reunion, is a pretty good incentive—so is revenge.

Ms. Doran has the kind of fictional style that I love. She brings out her characters’ personality traits in a most interesting and humorous way. She also has an amazing talent for individualizing every character in the story while still making the main characters the most intriguing.

Druzilla makes her own way through life, mostly depending on herself. She’s most likely to be the one to take action when no one else will. A touch of vengeance in her heart gives her character a hard edge, but it’s not enough to provoke hatred of her in the reader.

Rory, on the other hand, has put his past behind him and provided a good life for himself and his daughter in the same small town that made his childhood a nightmare. His revenge was to succeed right where he is, then let his bitterness go. He admirably grew into a strong and mature man instead of getting caught in the trap of turning his life into one great big petty crime.

If Ms. Doran had gone into deeper detail about what happens with Druzilla after the reunion, Embraceable You could have worked well as a full-length novel. But it also works well as a novella because readers get to use their imagination to flesh out the story. What’s important, though, is the ending—and it ends in a satisfying manner, with all loose ends tied up.

The profound characters, along with a poignant and meaningful subplot, put Embraceable You near the top of the list of my favorite e-books so far in 2011. So grab your lunchbox, and don’t miss this one!

Ed. Note: For more on Embraceable You, visit TheWildRosePress.com.

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