Liberty and Means by Kristin Dow is about Shannon, who’s being stalked, or so she thinks, and finds instead that she’s come into a financial windfall from a sweepstakes company. Once her monetary needs are met, will this free her up to fully discover herself, or shine a brighter light on her problems? The answer is a little of both. And how will other people react to her good fortune? The novel is a thoughtful and engaging character study with the pace of a thriller, including a number of surprising plot twists along the way.
Dow’s Shannon doesn’t fall into the trap in chick lit where the protagonist “has it all” until a man enters her life and everything’s upended. Shannon is more self-assured, introspective, and realistic a heroine – she’s staid, to be sure, and eventually opens up, but her voyage of self-discovery seems fully human and recognizable. You’ll cheer for her and trust her decisions.
What moves the book swiftly along is Dow’s writing. An example: “Me having a stalker is like Donald Trump having a sense of humility. It’s not a match.” Every paragraph is peppered with a fun quip or observation, the signal that you’re in the hands of a strong writer. The book is multi-layered: you’re not just interested in how Shannon’s life unfolds, but how her story is told. Dow is definitely a writer to watch. Recommended for readers well beyond chick lit.