Rob and Natalie are expertly drawn hipster young adults, twenty-somethings who have been out of school for a few years and are “charting various paths of downward mobility.” This is set in Bellingham, Washington, in the early years of 2000s, where Natalie’s art studio behind the thrift shop is her place of canvas and paint. I can tell you ten things I liked about this well-written drama, and while not every reader will love every moment, this is a first novel by a very thoughtful Christian writer, published by an indie company that we are close to. I don’t award the book because of that, but thought you may know their e-zine (catapult) and may have seen it serialized there. We’re pretty excited to carry this book, with its allusive title drawn from The Kabbalah, despite its raw tale and deep struggles about faith and justice…no, it is because of this that we so affirm it. As the author puts it, “the story follows the tensions between various poles: dust and stars, apathy and idealism, love and sadness, disbelief and faith, graffiti and art, Rob and Natalie.” Best first novel, 2009!
Of course, we encourage you to check out all of the “Best of 2009” recommendations at Hearts and Minds; they’ve got a great end-of-year list! And remember to mention *culture is not optional when purchasing … we’ll get a 10% donation for sending you in their direction.