I just finished reading one of the best novels I've read in a long, LONG time and wanted to share my thoughts about it with you. The author is a friend I've known for a long time, but this was the first time I'd read any of her work. I know her as Robin Billings and she's chosen to use an old family name (Martin) for this book. Robin has done a ton of great things to help my own career--she introduced me to the great Paul D. Brazill for one very big thing!--and I'm just happy that I can hopefully return the favor a bit by recommending her book here. Below is the review I posted in Amazon and Goodreads. It's one of those books that I know will become part of me and a book that will forever help inform how I see women from now on.
Like they say by the watercooler--You've got to read this! You really do.
THE HIDING PLACE GIRL by Robin Martin
I’ve just turned the last page on a wondrous book, titled The Hiding Place Girl by Robin Martin. I’m just now getting my breath back. I’ve only experienced the feeling I got from Robin’s book a couple of other times. One was when I finished Dr. Richard Selzer’s Letters to a Young Doctor. I was in one of my MFA residencies when I read Dr. Selzer’s book and the next morning, I was privileged to eat breakfast with him. Later that day, he gave a talk to the student body and faculty and afterward, I was walking on the grounds in an absolute daze after the experience and a fellow classmate came running up to me, telling me he’d gotten stuck in town and hadn’t been able to make it.
“How was his talk?” he said.
I thought for a long moment. I didn’t have the words to describe the experience. Finally (and weakly), I came up with my answer. “It was like being in a cathedral and hearing the voice of God,” I said. And it was. Dr. Selzer had deeply touched every good emotion a human being is capable of feeling.
I felt the same way upon finishing Martin’s novel. I have never understood women as well as I do now after reading her work and have never loved women as much. What a marvelous creation they are! What wondrous brains and hearts and souls they have!
Thank you, Robin. This is every bit as good as Dr. Selzer’s book and it’s every bit the revelation of the open, totally honest heart of a human being as anything Walt Whitman ever revealed. This is true and it is intelligent and it is the kind of thing I think of when I think of poetry and literature.
I am in awe and I thank you.
Hope you get a copy! You'll thank me.