Title: Out of the Fog
Author: Carolyn Nash
Genre: Short fiction
Received for review from Audible
Summary (from Goodreads)
What if you’re a suburban mom with a snarky sense of humor and a wild imagination prone to dreaming up disasters? What if you and your friends take your daughters for a camping trip, and while on a quick trip to the nearest country market you see a man being bullied and then beaten? What do you do? Back away quietly? Not if you’re Molly Deacon who, along with her Mittyesque imagination, has a temper not to be trifled with. Stepping in to rescue Alan Cartwright has consequences far beyond what Molly could ever imagine, and she must find hidden reserves of strength to survive a terrifying chase through a foggy night.
Hmmm. It’s taken me a long time to sit down and put my thoughts onto virtual paper about this one. I’m still not sure where to start.
Which all sounds rather ominously like this was rubbish, so let’s just dispel that idea straight away. This wasn’t rubbish. My confusion on how to broach the subject is much more to do with cultural issues than issues of writing.
Because this is a story about a woman who steps in to prevent a gay man being attacked by a group of thugs and is then relentlessly pursued by the group, who are looking to finish what they started. And she can’t call for help, because one of the group is the son of the corrupt sheriff.
And while I think I was supposed to feel thrilled and on the edge of my seat as Molly and Alan try to outwit their pursuers, I mostly just felt horribly sad that this was a believable situation.
I guess there was just something of a discord for me between the light, often humorous narration and the dark seriousness of the situation. There were things I really liked about Molly’s narration – I related to her propensity to let her imagination wander down the worst possible paths, though at times it was a little tricky to tell what she was imagining and what was real. She was a ballsy character, prepared to stand up for what she believed in, which again made her relatable. And I liked her relationship with Alan and the camaraderie that developed between them, despite the enemies’ best attempts to drive a wedge between them.
The tale has a suitably climactic ending and as a short read/listen, it is all resolved quickly. A snack of a book that would make the perfect bridge between longer works. A palate cleanser, if you will.
Nash is certainly an interesting writer, and this hasn’t put me off picking up more of her work, but for me this just didn’t quite hit the right notes. Nothing to do with the quality of the telling and all to do with a personal response. Others will probably enjoy this much more than I did, but it just wasn’t really for me.