A thoroughly engaging drama! (Caution: SPOILERS)
There is so much great about The Curve in the Road. It's well-written and engrossed me in the story nearly throughout. The protagonist, Cooper, has seemingly superhuman abilities, yet he's flawed in a way that's harming his relationships and his outlook on life--he's instantly likable albeit his issues. It's leading him down a desolate road (pun intended) and causing loads of tension in his marriage. The dialogue is crisp and so realistic. The reader may find themselves thinking they've had these conversations. I loved the writing, which engaged me nearly throughout with the tension of whether Cooper will reunite with his wife, whether they will have a child, and whether the mystery of the woman in Cooper's visions will be solved.. We cheer for Cooper and his wife and are disturbed by Cooper's forrays back in time with Mary, Although we recognize what was good in the past, we scream for Cooper to get back into the 'now!' Like I said, thoroughly engaging. The author even takes the possibly boring world of office furniture supply and turns it into mesmerizing, high coprorate drama (Think Glengarry Glen Ross).The author deftly ratchets up the tension through the novel regarding whether Liana and Cooper will reunite and be happy in their relationship. As I mentioned in one of my comments, this makes me think of the tension created by one of my favorite non-fantasy writers, Galaxy Craze, in her novel, By The Shore.
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I have a few big-picture suggestions. First, in the first several chapters, it gets kind of thick in discussing Cooper's business. It's a little too thick for me. My suggestion is to go back and trim any exposition that doesn't seem essential to the plotlines, particularly some of the office stuff which seems possibly less relevant. The last two-thirds of the book contain much less of this exposition and thus fly by as a much easier and enjoyable read. Second, use Roland more toward the end as a device to suggest what might have been happening to Cooper all along. Readers will want some sort of indication as to what happened, versus something totally open ended that also indicates internal inconsistencies (e.g., if Cooper's mind is fixed, why does he see Roland at the end? How does Roland spirit know what happened to Mary?. If it's mystical, is there any clue as to the source?). Maybe it's me but I spent the book hoping for 3 things and decidedly got 2 of 3 (Liana and Cooper together, with Cooper better and them having a child who represents the future and not looking back). Last, I would do less summary in the last couple of chapters and throw in some interaction regarding Liana's reaction to Cooper being hurt/comatose, Cooper's behaviors post-coma, and resolution with Mary. There are some punctuation and grammar mistakes here and there, but not many at all, and certainly won';t take much time to clean after revising. I know this is an 'old' novel, but it's a great read, a cool story, and well worth revising. I'm glad I read this book.