A review of

The Thin Place

by Kathryn Davis

Central question: If you jump at just the right moment, is it possible to fall through the gaps of this world and reach the other side?
Format: 288 pp., cloth; Size: 5-1/2” x 8-1/4” ; Price: $23.95; Publisher: Little, Brown; Editor: Pat Strachan; Book designer: Brooke Koven; Model author used for the narrative point of view: Gustav Flaubert’s “A Simple Heart”; Number of novels author wrote before this one: five; Author’s favorite character in novel: Margaret, who is based on the author’s malamute Ophelia, who lived to be sixteen years old; Representative sentence: “Life has nowhere to move, being everywhere, doesn’t move though it’s always in motion, is the leaf is the trash is the girl’s pierced navel the worm the cat’s paw the lengthening shadows.”

When was the last time you read something truly lovely? And not only lovely, by which I mean pleasing to the imagination and the mind’s eye, but funny, too? Think about it—funny and exquisitely lovely. Now hold onto those two qualities and add these to the mix: fiercely intelligent, spiritual, and thought-provoking.

Also a little bit creepy. But hopeful, too.

OK, now that you’ve got that much information stored in your head, take out a pencil and a piece of paper. On one side of the paper, number one through fifty. That’s how many characters you are going to need to keep track of in this novel’s 288 pages, give or take a character of two. Excuse me, did I say characters? I meant to say human characters. There are also several dogs, cats, birds, a bear, a few beavers, plants, trees, earth, wind, sky, stars, planets, and bodies of water having their say at the same time. And others I’m sure I’ve left out. You know that old piece of advice to fiction writers: create a world? Kathryn Davis took that advice seriously.

We hope you enjoy this excerpt.

To read the full piece, please visit our store to purchase a copy of the magazine.

—Mary Guterson

Mary Guterson’s novel, We Are All Fine Here (Putnam), is newly released in paperback this month.

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