The Laws of Harmony by Judith Ryan Hendricks is the kind of novel that defies a simple description. It opens as a simple life drama, but quickly turns into a suspenseful mystery, but almost as quickly settles back into a novel of self-discovery.
Sunny Cooper is this story. But who is she? In the year that this novel covers, she works as a dog walker, voice-over actress, baker and waitress. She lives in three different places in two different states. Is she a resentful daughter, a mourning lover, a friend, or a maverick? Is she a lone wolf or does she simply need to start over?
This novel has a number of interesting backdrops as well:
- a commune in New Mexico where Sunny grew up
- a beautiful island in the Pacific Northwest
- a small-town bookstore
- a local hang-out restaurant
- and throughout, the food that Sunny loves to cook and eat
Even though all the story lines are not neatly tied up (which is not a bad thing in my mind), by the end of the novel, we have a little bit of an idea about where she’s going, and as a reader I had become interested enough to care.
Do you ever wonder where authors get the ideas for the stories they write? Click over to 5 Minutes for Books for some of the inside scoop from author Judith Hendricks. You can also read 20% of the novel online at HarperCollins by using the Browse Inside feature.
Leave a comment for your chance to win one of five copies (U.S. or Canadian shipping addresses). We will announce the winners in next week’s column.
This giveaway is CLOSED.