Review: “Life and Death” by Celeste Perrino-Walker

life&deathLife & Death by Celeste Perrino-Walker. Farenorth Press. 252 pages.

I decided early on when I started this blog that I was going to be completely honest with anyone who was willing to take the time to read my scribblings. So at the very beginning I have to say that I have a vest interest in the success of both this book and this author. Celeste and I have a track record together that goes back a couple of decades when I was a book editor and a magazine editor, and she was just getting started writing books and articles. Since then I’ve had the privilege of co-authoring Salome’s Charger with her, which if you haven’t taken a look at, you should. Finally, I asked to edit Life & Death for Celeste, so I got a sneak peek early on.

That being said, this is a pretty good book. What’s good about it, you ask? It goes back to Celeste’s roots in northern Vermont, someplace she knows very, very well. And for me, that’s what makes the story. It’s a love story that’s first of all very rich culturally, one that had quirky, believable characters you fall in love with.

And it’s in a setting that is described so perfectly that I not only want to go there, I feel like she’s taken me there. For a California-born, Texas-inherited boy like me, that’s saying a lot. I had only heard about Lake Champlain from stories of the French and Indian Wars and the War of the Revolution, but now there are other reasons to check it out. It has to be beautiful, and now I know.

And this story is beautiful. Like I said, it’s rich. That’s not a word I bandy about too often. But it’s a word that’s a breath of fresh air in this world of cut-to-the-chase, race-to-the-finish-line living. This is a book that promises a different kind of life. It’s a vacation you can take in your mind. And it’s that what fiction is supposed to be about?

I give it five stars out of five.