I could not put down Suanne Schafer’s new novel Hunting the Devil until I ran out of pages to read. You might recall that I wrote about her first novel, A Different Kind of Fire, and loved it. The new story is entirely different from the first one, but another literary success. Furthermore, Hunting the Devil seems a very important book.
Here is my review, which is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon.
Suanne Schafer demonstrates once again that she knows how to write novels that defy genre boundaries and engage on many levels. Hunting the Devil, her most recent publication, is a historical war story that takes place in Rwanda, but also holds elements of a medical thriller and an unconventional romance complete with love triangle. The cinematic experience of reading this important book is still with me weeks after reading the last page.
Dr. Jessica Hemings, an American medical doctor, is in Rwanda to establish a clinic to treat poor Rwandans when civil war breaks out. With her biracial American features, Hutu paramilitary identify her with the Tutsi population they are committing atrocities upon, so her life is in danger. After her twin babies are killed, Jessica escapes across the country while planning revenge upon the murderer of her children.
The short chapters with initial place names and dates make a complex book easy to follow. Schafer’s descriptions are apt and illuminating, but never drag down the pace of the story. An ex-physician, she knows how to write about medical issues in a way that is believable and comprehensible to the layperson. The interpersonal relationships and inner landscapes of the main characters are well drawn. Unlike a lot of writers, Schafer even writes sex scenes well.
I knew so little of the Rwandan Civil War when I began this book. Since finishing it, I’ve done some more reading. Schafer has cast this devastating and enthralling story upon a well-researched setting. In doing so, she introduces her readers to an event in history that needs a prominent place in our understanding of world history. She does this through an action-packed can’t-put-it-down storytelling style. I have been recommending the book to family and friends. When anyone asks me how I could read about the atrocities, I explain that as a reader one becomes so caught up in Jessica’s experience that one is compelled to keep going. There is no going back. And for that I am so grateful. The book changed me forever.
You can find the book at these links:
A big thank you to Underfoot Poetry for pushing me to inquire. Where did the poems for my full-length collection Doll God come from? I tried to figure it out!
Chapbook Confessions is a series in which poets discuss, at length, the writing of their most recent collection of poems, in whatever way they desire. For more information on the series, go here.
Below, Luanne Castle writes on her 2015 collection,Doll God (Aldrich Press).
When I first read the Chapbook Confessions project, I was intrigued and wondered if I participated would I be able to discover insight into my writing process. The notion of what I might find both allured and frightened me.
Part of me agrees with the brief “Ars Poetica” I heard X. J. Kennedy recite when I was a young grad student in Michigan:
The goose that laid the golden egg
Died looking up its crotch
To find out how its sphincter worked.
Would you lay well? Don’t watch.
The thought of losing the ability to write a poem because I inquired into…
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Jill Weatherholt has been so kind to interview me for her blog! Please join us over there!
What is special about the place you grew up? The places of my childhood are always with me although I live almost 2000 miles away. I grew up in Kalamazoo County, which is in southwest Michigan. There are 101 inland lakes in the county alone, and we were not far from Lake Michigan. My mother’s […]
via SUMMER SPOTLIGHT: LUANNE CASTLE — Jill Weatherholt
Filed under Blogging, Book promotion, Family history, Flash Nonfiction, Interview, Kin Types, Memoir, Poetry, Poetry book, Poetry Collection, Writing
Hello, everyone, I have a guest today: poet, family historian, and fellow cat hoarder lover, Luanne Castle. Many of you might already know Luanne from her blog, Writer Site, or her website, Luanne Castle, or perhaps you’ve already read her first book of poetry, Doll God, winner of the 2015 New Mexico-Arizona Book Award. I’m […]
via An Interview with Luanne Castle #MondayBlogs #poetry #flashnonfiction — 1WriteWay
I’m grateful to Zinta Aistars and WMUK radio. They produce a show called Between the Lines that showcases writers. Zinta interviewed me about Doll God. You can read about it and/or listen to it here. She posted a short version, as well as a full-length version, so take your pick.
In addition to the book, I talked about the origins of my writing 😉 and about my interest in family history.
I seriously hope I didn’t make too big a fool of myself. Yikes.
More “on the road” with Mom: hubby and I took her to a fundraiser for the medical fund at the pet shelter. We had cocktails and hors-d’oeuvres at Blue Martini in Phoenix. We didn’t win the raffles, alas. But I know our ticket money went to provide treatment to animals that have no one else to care for them.
Filed under #AmWriting, Arizona, Books, Doll God, Family history, Food & Drink, Interview, poems about dolls, Poetry, Poetry book, Poetry Collection, Poetry reading, Writing, Writing Talk
Editor Jenn Monroe of Extract(s) lit magazine asked me some very thought-provoking questions in today’s interview. Also, check out the excerpt from Doll God also published May 1 in Extract(s): http://dailydoseoflit.com/2015/05/01/excerpt-luanne-castle/
Filed under #AmWriting, Books, Doll God, Dolls, Interview, Literary Journals, Nonfiction, poems about dolls, Poetry, Poetry book, Poetry Collection, Research and prep for writing, Writing, Writing prompt, Writing Tips and Habits