Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Little Known Facts: A Novel

Author: Christine Sneed

Published: Feb 2013

What They Say: The debut novel from award-winning writer Christine Sneed: a many-layered story of fame, family, and identity.

The people who orbit around Renn Ivins, an actor of Harrison Ford-like stature—his girlfriends, his children, his ex-wives, those on the periphery—long to experience the glow of his flame. Anna and Will are Renn's grown children, struggling to be authentic versions of themselves in a world where they are seen as less important extensions of their father. They are both drawn to and repelled by the man who overshadows every part of them.

Most of us can imagine the perks of celebrity, but Little Known Facts offers a clear-eyed story of its effects—the fallout of fame and fortune on family members and others who can neither fully embrace nor ignore the superstar in their midst. With Little Known Facts, Christine Sneed emerges as one of the most insightful chroniclers of our celebrity-obsessed age, telling a story of influence and affluence, of forging identity and happiness and a moral compass; the question being, if we could have anything on earth, would we choose correctly?

What Elaine Says: I was caught a little off guard by just how good this novel is. The premise, while interesting, has the potential to be a little thin, so I'll admit my expectations were set decidedly low.  However, I hoped that Sneed would deliver something with a bit more weight behind it and she did. 

Little Known facts is a touching, amusing and quite honest look at fame and those it touches, either directly or indirectly.  It's a simple story and it's simply but beautifully told.  I found myself empathising with every character in the book and perhaps gleaning a little insight into why movie stars so often behave as they do. 

Sneed's writing is quite charming.  Each character has their own distinct voice and the 'story' unfolds through many peoples eyes.  It's an effective narrative for this type of book.  There's no story as such to be told here, it's merely a glimpse at what life may be like in the public eye.

Easily readable and spot on with regards to pace and length, I very much look forward to Sneed's next novel.

Please note this was an advance review copy
Elaine's Rating: 8/10

"There are countless ways to be unhappy, so many more, it seems to me, than ways to be happy, which could be one of the reasons why happiness is so elusive."

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