I trust you’ve all been basking in the new spring sun, as I have. I can even see some new green growth, if I use my bifocals. I keep my dirt-snowbank out of my field of view, though. Selective bifocals, they are.
What I have had my eye on, though, is Jim Nichols’ new novel.
Closer All The Time by Jim Nichols, published by Islandport Press in February of 2015
Jim Nichols is most noted for his short stories, and has been recognized and nominated for various literary awards – including the Pushcart Prize. This is his third novel.
Baxter is a small, seemingly inescapable river town. A town that outsiders have never heard of, and residents could never forget. A stagnant tension lingers among neighbors, as thick as the coastal fog. While some have held up against their own demons, others are waiting to be washed away by the tide.
Closer All The Time is presented as a series of short stories, glimpses of a different character’s life – all within Baxter, Maine. Characters are interwoven and introduced through multiple perspectives and lenses. Although, this character juggling can be confusing at times, Nichols’ steady pace leaves the reader with little time to wonder.
Nichols’ strength lies in his uncluttered writing – carefully creating an oppressive, almost claustrophobic environment with few words. In a style comparable to the young adult novelist Lois Lowry (best known for The Giver), Nichols wastes no time with pedantic details, thus allowing the reader to build their own imagery. A disciplined omission of adjectives and literary filigree that few writers accomplish successfully.
Closer All The Time earned 4 out of 5 bookmarks.
I’ll close with this quote, from page 80:
“It was freezing in the coop, and it was getting creepy, too, because he couldn’t keep from thinking about those chickens… He could almost hear them, scratching from room to room, getting closer all the time.”
Loved his book as much as I did? Would you like to meet him, maybe even get your books signed? Here’s a list of upcoming events where you’ll get such an opportunity!:
May 5th: Camden Public Library at 12:00pm.
May 16th: Newport Cultral Center, in Newport from 11:00-1:00pm.
June 18th: The Mustard Seed Bookstore, 74 Front St in Bath. 7:00-8:30pm.
June 22nd: Freeport Community Library, 10 Library Dr. in Freeport at 6:30pm.
July 9th: Maine Coast Bookshop in Damariscotta from 11:00-1:00pm.
July 11th: Books in Boothbay Book Fair, Boothbay Maine. Book signing at 1:00pm.
July 21st: Thomaston Public Library in Thomaston at 7:00pm.
July 25th: Beyond the Sea Book Festival, Lincolnville. Signing at 1:30pm.
*Additional events may be added, and will be posted if and when they become available.