Today is launch day for Rebecca Woodhead’s debut novel, Palaces and Calluses.
I was lucky enough to read an advance copy, which I completely enjoyed.
The main character is forced to reinvent herself after a shocking betrayal. Besides the emotions evoked by the romance and heartbreak, we’re treated to the warmth of family and friendship, as well as a bit of intrigue, some humor, sarcasm and just plain silliness.
The book is filled with believable characters — some you’ll love and some you’ll love to hate — including smart women, handsome hunks, a nasty boss and a wonderful dog named Rock. Oh, and did I mention, the author drops us right into the English Cotswolds?
The quality of the work rises above that of much of today’s popular literature because of Rebecca’s writing. She has an easy style that makes you want to leap to the next page. She’s just a natural, as anybody who’s been following her on Twitter (@rebeccawoodhead) can tell you. (She’s been named one of the most influential women on Twitter. I “met” her online a couple of years ago when she was up for Ms. Twitter U.K., which she won.)
Her book is a novel, but her own remarkable real-life story also makes for compelling reading: “I’m a coma survivor,” she writes on her blog. “As a child, I sustained such bad injuries in a car accident that I was told it was very unlikely I would ever be able to write as well as my peers. I taught myself to speak, read and write again — without the help of a speech therapist or counsellor. When I typed the last word of the first draft of my first novel, that felt like success.” You can find more on her website.
The end of Palaces and Calluses will leave you wanting more. Fortunately, this is Book 1 of a planned series, and she said she’s already deep into the second book, so the wait won’t be too long!
UPDATE: The book is now available as an e-book in several formats.