FLOATING by Robin Troy


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One of the differences between cake recipes and novels is the greater likelihood of actually getting a decent recipe from a contest. Troy, who submitted her manuscript to MTV’s “The Write Stuff” fiction contest, was the winner, and this by-the-numbers novel (—chosen from over 500 entries—) is the result. It’s a simple affair, with a western flavor, in which Ruby, the most beautiful and alluring woman in the town of Whitticker, Arizona, loses her husband Carl to a prison cell. Home with her son Brian, Ruby is visited by a stranger named Sean—who is in fact no stranger at all, but Carl’s brother, whom Carl has asked to retrieve a cherished horse from Ruby’s possession. Ruby, immediately attracted to the handsome Sean, enjoys a fling with him until Carl calls, telling her that he—ll be coming home early, having improbably “learned the law. . . . Did what I had to do and beat ‘em at their own game.” Meantime, Ruby and Sean learn of their subtle differences—Ruby loves her son and, by implication, her family, and Sean is by nature a drifter—and so the romance breaks off. Though the story is by no means original, and is told in an unpolished prose (—Carl went to work [in a boot store] where he gradually lost his teenage determinations amidst the size and shape of other people’s footsteps—), author Troy is faultless here. It’s the folks who will send her off on a ten-city reading tour, advertise this novel-like object, and submit it to reviews across the country who could devastate any ambition she might have had. Perfunctory and poorly told: consider it a warm-up for a writer who one day, perhaps, may write interesting material. (Author tour)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-671-02449-3
Page count: 238pp
Publisher: MTV/Pocket
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1998