I recently finished reading Jessica Grant's wonderful novel, COME, THOU TORTOISE. I can’t remember the last time a book delighted me as much as this one, and made me laugh so much, even while it touched my heart and explored layers of thoughts/ideas on the wider scope of life. I won’t go into a detailed review of this book, but one of the things that I admired and appreciated so much about this book is the voice.
Voice. Some writers refer to voice as the voice of the writer – they speak of the need for each writer to find his or her own voice. I prefer to look at voice as the need to find your character’s voice.
I have written many books in the first person, precisely because it presents challenges, and offers opportunities, to explore and fine tune voice, the voice of your character. When you write in the first person, if you do it well, you have to crawl inside the head and heart and soul of your character, and if you are to be successful – as Jessica Grant is, in COME, THOU TORTOISE – you will create a voice that is unique and completely convincing.
Grant has created a wonderful, quirky (okay, so that is becoming a cliched term, but I mean it here in the best way possible) and completely genuine and compelling heroine in her main character, Audrey (a.k.a. Oddly) Flowers. From the start of the book, you are pulled into the viewpoint and world of Oddly, and you rejoice with her, laugh with her, grieve with her and see the world through her eyes. Oh, and you wonder with her.
I highly recommend this book – for the sheer joy of reading an accomplished and delightful book, but also for those wanting to explore concepts of voice. Read it to see how you create the voice of a character and do it superbly.
COME, THOU TORTOISE won well-deserved accolades as well as the Amazon First Novel Award. I look forward to reading Grant’s next book.