Light and Swift
By Haven Kimmel
(Free Press, Hardcover, 9780743247757, 273pp.)
Publication Date: December 1, 2003
List Price: $24.00*
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Cassie Claiborne's world is riddled with problems beyond her control: her hard- living, pool-shooting father has another wife; her stoic, long-suffering mother is incapable of moving herself mentally away from the kitchen window; her sister Belle is a tempest of fragility and brilliance; her closest friends, Puck and Emmy, are adolescent harbingers of their own doomed futures. Frustrated by her inability to care deeply enough for so many troubled souls, Cassie finds in the local pool hall an oasis of green felt where she can master objects and restrain her emotions.
As Cassie grows from a quietly complex girl into a headstrong young woman, she takes on the thankless role of family provider by working odd jobs and hustling pool. All the while, she keeps her eye on the ultimate prize: wringing suitable justice out of past wrongs and freeing herself from the inertia that is her life.
In this ultimately uplifting story, Haven Kimmel reaches deep into the hamstrung souls of her fictional corner of Indiana. Remarkable for its tough tenderness, "Something Rising (Light and Swift)" is an astonishing work of pure heartbreak.