The Tropic of Hunter by Cheyne Curry

You can chat with her daily or cut her out of your life, you can try to make her proud or you can decide that you don’t give a damn about what she thinks of your life. I say you can love her, hate her or feel something in between for her, but you can’t feel indifferent towards her because she is – your MOTHER 😉

Hunter certainly do feel something, at the moment it’s probably mostly surprise at her mother leaving Hunter – and not one of her two brothers – her house. A feeling that is easily explained by the fact that Hunter haven’t spoken with her mother since the day she – Hunter that is – was caught in bed with the wife of the minister of the First Congregational Church at the age of eighteen. I guess that could cause a raised eyebrow even in the best of families, and well Hunters family life do seem to have been a bit dysfunctional.

Returning to Otter Falls some sixteen years after the incident, to deal with the house and her mothers belongings, Hunter have to face not only her mother’s legacy, but also the family and friends she left behind. This proves to be an experience with lots of surprises – both good and bad.

For those of us with a romantic preference “The Topic of Hunter” holds a nice – but a bit hasty – romance based on the theme of a first love that never dies. For anyone with a fondness for a more dramatic storyline Cheyne digs up the remainders of a girl who died a long time ago.

If you want a peek at the romantic parts of the storyline follow Hunter when she goes for a beer at the local bar on the night of her arrival in Otter Falls. Find yourself a table and watch as Hunter bumps into not only her high school best friend Lesley, but also said friends – no longer so young – little sister Lisa. Keep your eyes on Lisa, she is not only the centre of attention at a little gathering of family and friends at the bar because of her birthday, but also a catching woman with an old dream she wishes to live out with … you can guess who.

I’ve read the story more than once and each time I’ve found that Cheyne tells a catching story in an enjoyable and fluent writing style. In the beginning the focus of attention of the story is Hunter, her relationship with her family, and the rather fast-moving romance with Lisa. At some point the focus of the storyline shifts to a drama involving the death of a young girl, and then – when we have survived the peak of the drama – we get treated to a very abrupt wrapping up of the romance, which I find a bit disappointing, but if you like a well woven story with a mix of romance and drama you could do a lot worse than spending your time with “The Topic of Hunter”.

Should you like Cheyne’s writing style and wish for a pure romantic storyline I can recommend the series of short stories “In The Light Of Day”, “Chance and Choice”, “Decisions”, “From This Day Forward”. You can look up Jarlings review if you want an introduction to the story.

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