Sunday, December 6, 2009

Top 60 Novels of 2000-2009 Countdown No. 27

"Celeste Ascending" by Kaylie Jones

I already wrote about the fact that Jones went to Wesleyan and how I came upon her novel "As Soon as it Rains" in the mid-1980s. This novel came out in 2000, and I found it to be completely different from what I had imagined – it even had a moment of possible fantasy, as the narrator, Celeste, sees a dead friend coming out of an AA meeting at a church in Manhattan. I remember reading it a month or so after I had started a new job, and I needed an escape from the tension of getting a features section out to the press. So I went out and read "Celeste" as I lay on the grass outside work, and the novel, while far from an escapist work, took me back to odd places, particularly New York, Connecticut and Mexico. So after I read this, I picked up the movie copy of "A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries," which I guess makes me a fan. This novel is a fine examination of substance abuse and the changes that occur gradually to the outlook of the protagonist.

1 comment:

Kaylie said...

Richard --
My husband has a Google alert on my works and that is how I learned about being included on your list. I am very touched. I love this novel because it was the hardest one for me to write (took 6 yrs and multiple revisions) and I almost gave up on it several times. So, thank you.
Kaylie Jones