"Debut novel" is always an interesting descriptor for a work. Previously, I was very neutral on the words. If anything the label was only an assurance that I wasn't being introduced to an author mid-series. In the past year though, I've found myself very impressed with debut works and have become a fan of several new writers as their careers have just begun to blossom. One such author is Michelle Hoover and her first novel The Quickening is an elegantly written historical fiction that reveals the pen of a masterful writer.
I'm curious what others think about seeing a book labeled "debut novel". Does it act as a persuader or a deterrent to new readers? Do you see "debut" and think of the work as a fresh new voice to hear or do you consider that perhaps you don't want to take a chance on a new author?
The novel was told in a unique manner, and Michelle Hoover plays freely with the time-line. Through snapshots of their lives, the tale jumps in and out of the memories of the dual narrators, and events are hinted at long before they are revealed which keeps the pace of the book rolling smoothly. The setting was remarkably vivid and reveals Hoover's expertise at historical research. Poignant and intriguing, The Quickening was a unique novel that perfectly captures the complexity and richness of the Midwest in the early twentieth century.
And stay tuned this week for my blog interview with Michelle Hoover!