Ooops! She did it again . . . Rhonda Tibbs', author of her fourth novel, Shadow, reeled me in yet again. Shadow, is a coming-of-age novel about Danny Coulter, a budding artist, and his affinity for the Kiamichi River. A fan of her writing, I was anxiously awaiting the first installment of her latest series. Yet, upon receiving my copy, I read slowly and methodically, taking forced breaks, knowing that if I dived in head first, there would be no stopping me until the last page was turned. Alas, though, a stretch of a few hours on a rainy afternoon drew me into the novel, and there was no point of return.
Tibbs' ability to harness the turbulent emotions of young love and then deliver them on paper is not only addicting, but nostalgic. In fact, my own sixteen-year-old self- long a memory- manages to come alive again at the turn of every page.
For the purposes of book club, weather permitting, an informal picnic complete with a blue and white checkered tablecloth at the local park would be ideal. A basket bearing ham and cheese sandwiches, potato salad, pickles, and bottled soda would recall Danny and the female protagonist, Isabelle's reunion after a summer spent apart in 1967. For the matter of dessert, this meal would not be complete without Mama Rose's chocolate chip cookies.