Hold Still: A Novel
Lynn Steger Strong
This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.
A "wildly evocative" (Elle.com) family portrait that explores the depths and limits of a mother’s love.
When Maya Taylor, an English professor with a tendency to hide in her books, sends her daughter to Florida to look after a friend’s child, she does so with the best of intentions; it’s a chance for Ellie, twenty and spiraling, to rebuild her life. But in the sprawling hours of one humid afternoon, Ellie makes a mistake she cannot take back. In two separate timelines—before and after the catastrophe—Maya and Ellie must try to repair their fractured relationship and find a way to transcend not only their differences but also their more troubling similarities. "[Melding] psychological insight, precise plotting and limpid prose" (Huffington Post), Lynn Steger Strong traces the anatomy of a mistake and the weight of culpability. Hold Still marks a taut and propulsive debut that "builds to a perfect crescendo, an ending that is both surprising and true" (Marcy Dermansky, author of The Red Car).
Loved it. I couldn't put the book down until I finished it. It left me wanting more. I want to know what happens to Ellie, her mom and Ellie and her mom. Great job!! Will read more from this author for sure!
Did not enjoy!
Hold Still by Lynn Steger Strong is a difficult novel to enjoy. Maya Taylor is at her wit’s end with her daughter, Ellie (who is twenty). Ellie’s life is out of control with bad choices. Maya sends her daughter to Florida to be a nanny to a friend. Unfortunately, it turns out to be a bad decision. An incident fractures apart both families and sends Ellie spiraling further out of control. Can Maya save her daughter?
Hold Still is told from Maya and Ellie’s point-of-views (goes back and forth). In addition, it jumps around to different times (back and forth) to tell the story. These two things lead to a very confusing book (and it did not need to be) that I had a hard time finishing. The majority of the book leads up to the “incident” and then what happened afterward. The incident is easy to figure out (Florida, sun, sand, ocean), but the writer leaves the reader in the dark. I found that I did not like the characters at all which then leads to not caring what happens to them (thus unenjoyable read). The ending was odd (I actually wrote down weird). This is a story that is just told. It is lacking in emotions and depth (I just did not feel it). I give Hold Still 1 out of 5 stars.
I received a complimentary copy of Hold Still from NetGalley (and the publisher) in exchange for an honest evaluation of the novel.