three-and-half-stars
Bookmarks Issue: 
10-May-June-2004
By: 
Haven Kimmel
user_rating: 
0

A-SomethingRisingCassie Claiborne, a tough small-town girl from Indiana, plays one mean game of pool. And the best part: winning or losing is a solitary effort. That makes sense to Cassie, who is otherwise encumbered with her parent's broken marriage, a mostly-absent father, a ragtag group of friends, and the shackles of her small town. Her talents with a cue could be her ticket out of town, if she grows enough to take a closer look at the ties worth holding onto and those that should be broken.
Free Press. 267 pages. $24.

Newsweek 4 of 5 Stars
"Having a group discussion about Cassie would, as far as I'm concerned, be like arguing the merits of your new best friend. The greatest part of Something Rising is just the pleasure of her company." Malcolm Jones

Oregonian 3.5 of 5 Stars
"Whether funny, poignant or simply descriptive, [Kimmel's] writing illuminates. Her characters are charmingly articulate despite their problems, and Cassie's fearless attitude keeps everything moving." Tricia Snell

Miami Herald 3.5 of 5 Stars
"Cassie is drifting, and Kimmel underscores her question: will Cassie continue her unexamined existence or realize there are ways to chart a life off the green felt? The fact that you need the answer to this question is more than enough to propel you through the books slower passages." Connie Ogle

USA Today 3.5 of 5 Stars
"At its best, Kimmel's novel will drain your emotions. ... It's a novel heavy with irony but leavened by lovely, surprising writing." Bob Minzesheimer

Critical Summary

Kimmel developed a diverse fan club after the success of her smart, funny, and best-selling memoir, A Girl Named Zippy, and her poignant novel, The Solace of Leaving Early. In Something Rising, Kimmel both varies and adheres to these forms, chronicling the everyday events and dramas of a determined young woman living in a small town and aching for another life. Critics praise Kimmel's complex, unsentimental style and convincing plot. The rather slow pace in the middle detracts slightly from this intelligent narrative about family responsibility and the quest for purpose in life. But Cassie is worth spending time with.