Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Book Review: Shift by Jennifer Bradbury

One of the first things writers are told is

write what you know.

But does it mean we need to have experienced everything we write?

Jennifer Bradbury knows a thing or two about bicycling cross country. But she probably doesn't know first-hand what it means to be an eighteen year old boy. Yet she writes from a first person POV of one.

The story is about friendship. About being on the cusp of adulthood. About figuring out who you are. About loss and hope. About human decency and frailty.

I'll bet she has experienced all of these. Not in the details, but in the actual feeling and thinking and questioning and observing and understanding. The authenticity comes through, and that makes the book moving and engaging.

Write what you know.

But not in the narrow literal sense.

In the sense that the essence of the book is first-hand truth.

Isn't that why we love fiction?

1 comment:

Solvang Sherrie said...

Excellent point! I'm currently writing as a 10 year old boy :)