Disclaimer: I am Evie's sister and, therefore, might be slightly biased.
After reading about Eve's (and Robin's…Hi Robin!) last few torturous months working on her book revisions, and not being able to talk to her on the phone (which has caused major withdrawal for me), I have been eagerly waiting to see the fruit of her labor.
So, after reading Eve's latest revision of Kidz In The Wood today, let me just say…
HOLY SH*#! (Can I say that on the blog?)
It is really, really wonderful. Don't get me wrong, I loved the early version, because it touches on issues and characters close to my heart and draws on some shared experiences between my beloved sister and me. But now it captures and moves me in on a deeper level, especially since I know how hard she has worked to make the book better, based on suggestions from Laura.
The changes were significant in terms of plot, structure and symbolism. I was with her in Hawaii when she started really mulling over how to incorporate some allegories she had been considering and I didn't know what to expect. I had a vague idea of what she wanted to accomplish, but never imagined that the story would now have me sitting on the edge of my seat (well, it was literally the stool at Eve's kitchen counter, which has a very small seat area) with the story arc and the universality of the situations her characters face. Of course, the aspects I loved about Kidz in the Wood since day one - the absolute nailing of the teenage boy's mind/voice and the dialogue - are still present, but now I feel those things blossom in a better overall story that I'm sure will one day delight readers all over the country as it has delighted me.
And, so I say, let's raise a glass to congratulate Evie on a (very hard) job (extremely) well-done. By the way, I'm actually here in California to raise that glass with Robin, Jay and Eve, which makes me even happier than I was when I finished reading Eve's book! Where's the tequila? Shots all around!
Cheers to Evie and Robin!
- Amy (Evie's sister)