It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of Rosemary Clement-Moore. One of the wonderful things about going to ArmadilloCon every year is that in addition to getting to see her, I also get to buy her latest book and read it on the plane home. Last year was The Splendor Falls. This year, Texas Gothic.
Now I'd gotten to experience the opening chapters at Rosemary's reading, which was so much fun. There's nothing quite like enjoying a story about a girl named Amy Goodnight, who's running across a field in her underwear to yell at a cow, being read in the delightful Texas twang in which it is meant to be heard. I was grinning all through the reading.
And the lighthearted humor last throughout the entire book. There were quite a few moments on the plane ride when I had to hold in my laughter. When I came to the line “Don't ever trust anyone who's writing a book. They make up lies for a living,” well, let's just say it's a very good thing I didn't have any soda in my mouth at the time.
The story is about a girl from a family of kooks and kitchen witches who is trying so very hard to be normal. Too bad the ghost living next door to her aunt's farm—where she's house sitting—has other plans for her. And, oh yeah, the guy whose property the ghost is haunting just so happens to be a hot cowboy whom she can't decide whether she loves or hates.
As usual, Rosemary has given us a cast of dynamic, lovable characters. Amy and the cowboy Ben play off each other very well, and the scenes in which they're both together really come to life. I also particularly liked Amy's sister Phin: brilliant, a touch absentminded and endearingly unaware of how crazy her paranormal technology seems to everyone around her.
The plot moves along well and kept me turning pages pretty quickly. And the details of Amy's world added a lot to the story. I loved Aunt Hyacinth's potions, Phin's gadgets, Uncle Burt's rocking chair and cousin Daisy's wardrobe choices.
The only disappointment is knowing I have to wait another year or so before reading the next RCM book. But one thing's for sure: I'm going to love it when I do.