Off Course by Michelle Huneven

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Economics Ph.D candidate Cressida Hartley escapes to her family’s cabin nestled in the Sierras for three months in hopes of writing her dissertation, however, she finds herself distracted.

A story of choices, particularly the choices of Cressida Hartley, the focal point of the novel. Cressida is at a turning point in life. Her decisions will leave you shaking your head in frustration. I can’t count the number of times I felt like crawling through the book to shake sense into her. She’s rather complex, opaque, leaving you void of feeling any warmth towards her. Cressida exists all around us, perhaps she’s a friend, you or a friend of a friend, her character is all too plausible. Personally I have encountered a few Cressida’s in my lifetime.

Quinn, her love interest, has his own issues, lending his issues as excuses for his stupidity and choices, the reader feels a twinge of empathy, not much a mere twinge. Nevertheless, he is equally frustrating.

Huneven reminds me of Janet Fitch, these two capable authors possess such way with stringing words together forming a necklace of beauty. The writing is stunning along with the emotional depth seeping from the pages. The narrative is intricate in its quiet beauty. A story of depth regarding choices and interactions, highly recommend.

“She wasn’t making specific plans, but that hairline crack, she knew, could widen instantly to accommodate her, and day by day, its thin blackness grew less frightening, more logical and familiar, as if she could now walk right up, touch it with her fingertips, and, with a quick last smile over her shoulder at the fading world, slip right in.”

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Published April 1st 2014 by Sarah Crichton Books
Hardcover, 304
ISBN13: 9780374224479

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