Monday, May 10, 2010

Blue Plate Special

Blue Plate Special

by Michelle D. Kwasney

Chronicle Books (2009)

This YA novel traces the stories three generations of women/girls in a dysfunctional family. For reviews, see Frenetic Reader and goodreads.

Blue Plate Special is a fascinating study of voice. The story is told in three first person points of view and the three voices remain distinct throughout the novel. None of the voices is particularly eccentric, yet they do not merge or mimic one another. Michele Kwasney excels at keeping each character’s personality true.

Writers are often told it is difficult to sustain an unconventional (quirky, sarcastic, humorous, regional, ultra-intellectual) voice all the way through a novel. Maintaining three separate but equal voices must also present interesting challenges. I recommend this book to writers who are striving to perfect their character’s voices.


Wyman Stewart said...

Perhaps if an author had a multiple personality disorder and each is a writer, then each personality could take on a character. But, I agree, very impressive accomplishment. Surely an author for people to keep their eyes on, as well as, reading her books. Thanks for bringing her to our attention.

Some authors are amazing. How do they do it?

TimInMich said...

I've placed a hold on it at the library. It's not the sort of book I would normally choose, but with your recommendation and an excerpt at Amazon, I'm going to give it a go.
I've been meaning to send the group a couple of recommendations for books with distinctive voice: "The Pig Scrolls" by Paul Shipton and "Max Quigley: Technically NOT a Bully." The former is over-the-top, the latter subtler (not "more subtle") and worth more discussion.