Saturday 26 September 2020

GORGE by Katherine Carlson

4.5 out of 5 stars

On Amazon UK


On Goodreads

How I discovered this book:  Amazon browse, downloaded on Kindle Unlimited.  Couldn't decide if the cover/title combo was inspired or ghastly, but it intrigued me enough to see what it was about, so it did its job!

In A Nutshell: Unhappy, overweight woman survives near death in the Montana wilderness; thriller, with dark humour.

Enjoyed this a lot, an unusual story indeed.  Southern girl Marty Clawson is morbidly obese and unhappily married to a man who has lost interest in her.  She is desperate to beat her cravings for food, and comes up with the idea of being stranded alone in the state park, with no access to fast food joints and cake shops.  When her marriage falls apart and she gets in touch with an old friend in Montana, she has no idea that her survival fantasies will become real—and a matter of life and death.

Most of the first half of the book is taken up with Marty's depressing life, in which she is trapped inside her mounds of excess flesh and inability to stop comfort-eating; we later find out why and when it began.  This part of the story is tragic but funny, and Marty is most likeable.  When she sets off for Montana, neither she nor the reader has any idea about the danger that awaits her.  

Without giving the plot away (because you really should read it yourself!), the nine days of Marty's ordeal are frightening, realistic (in that she doesn't suddenly become a survival expert), tragic, though still darkly humourous in places; it's a real page turner.

The only negative element about the book was that the author has used 'en' dashes instead of 'em' dashes throughout: instead of—this to set off a clause or add emphasis—, she has used this–without a space at either side, which I kept–mistaking–for–a hyphen.  Many times I had to go back and read the sentence twice, because I thought I'd read a hyphenated word.  But aside from this irritant, it's great.  I'm glad I clicked on that strange bright green cover that stood out in the list of of 'also boughts' on Amazon.  I shall seek out another book by her, some time.


If anyone is not sure of the difference between the en dash and the em dash and when each of them should be used, I have found this article which explains it clearly and concisely


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