The following will soon appear in the San Francisco Book Review and/or the Sacramento Book Review. Don't forget that you can buy But This Is Different at http://steelcutpress.com and or on Kindle from Amazon.
But This Is Different
By Mary Walker Baron
Steel Cut Press, $14.95, 279 pages
No one wants to leave their home, especially when that home is a beautiful hidden island paradise where you have been living on for the last 40 years. But Mere, Star of the Sea, must force herself to leave, and go on an adventure of pain and love. But This is Different is an emotional troll with an unusual protagonist. Mere, an eighty-year-old woman, receives a letter written by Pilapan, the Mother Chief, asking Mere to come back to New York. Mere leaves and finds herself in the modern reality, the world of 1978. Mere has to cope with this new world while also balancing her feelings toward her lover. I cannot go into more detail on the plot, because I do not want to spoil this marvelous book.
The strongest feature of this book is the plot. The mystery and intrigue of Mere is addicting, as each clue is like getting a piece to a larger puzzle. The book is not only rich in plot, but it is also lavishly detailed and driven by high emotion. You care about the characters and you feel the pain they feel. The detail makes places feel real and the people in the book feel real. Each character has a spark of life that blooms into a profound pillar that carries Mere to her final destination. Even characters that have minuscule roles have a real depth to them.
I enjoyed the subtle pro-environment message of the book. Mere is spiritually connected to nature and even in the city, the plants and trees are her greatest supporters. The book also has an emotional and physical ending that satisfies. I would be surprised if you do not have a tear in your eye by the end of the book. But This is Different is a different kind of book, with a touching story that will hook you until the end.