Sunday, June 10, 2018

HOW FAR SHE’S COME by Holly Brown

Publisher:     William Morrow
Published:     May 22, 2018
ISBN:        978-0062749925
Genre:      Women’s Fiction, Suspense
Format:     Print
Obtained via:  Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina


Relatively recent Stanford grad Cheyenne Florian has landed what for many would be a dream job.  She didn’t set out to work as a journalist, but when Edwin Gordon, owner of INN television offers her a job as an on air journalist she hesitates, weighing being able to care for her father in Tulip, Montana and a long distance relationship with her long time boyfriend, Chase.  But Edwin is persuasive and she agrees to sign on the line and commit herself to three years at INN.  It is Edwin’s plan to use some certain notable events in Cheyenne’s past to launch her at the station.  Well, perhaps notable isn’t quite the word.  Perhaps notorious is a more apt reference.  As Cheyenne embarks on her new career several things happen.  A few of them make her question just who is making her decisions for her…is it her life or is she a pawn of someone else? 

First Edwin hires a tutor, Albie for her.  Albie quickly warns her that not everyone is her friend.  Nor are they her enemy.  He won’t say who is which; only that she should watch her back.  Before she can process Albie in her life Edwin springs Reese, an intern on her as an assistant. 

On the heels of Albie’s arrival pages of a diary begin to arrive.  The diary appears to be from Elyse Rohrbach…an icon among women broadcast journalists.  As more pages arrive Cheyenne begins to question if the pages are coming from friend or foe.  Are they really from Elyse’s diary?  Or are they someone’s increasingly sick job intended to disturb her and rake up her past?  Edwin adds to her confusion and questions about her decision when he launches an investigative series about a company close to someone in Cheyenne’s life.  It isn’t long before Cheyenne begins to question is it her life?  Or is someone engineering a life for her?  If someone is…who is it and why are they doing it?

Holly Brown’s HOW FAR SHE’S COME is an interesting and totally absorbing cross section of women’s fiction and psychological suspense.  Cheyenne’s story grabbed me from page one and I quickly found myself unable to put the book down.  I had to know who was sending the diary, who was setting her up…if she was being set up…and how things would end. 

On the women’s fiction side, Cheyenne’s development through the book is really well done.  She starts off as a fairly sheltered, bordering on naïve woman who wants to do the right thing.  Protective of her father because of his health at the same time she depends on his counsel.  She loves her boyfriend, but begins to see the cracks in their relationship.  As his own secrets and need to outshine her no matter what emerge Brown depicts a character at a cross roads of staying in a relationship because of what they had or moving on to fulfil her own life.  At the same time Cheyenne questions whether being with Chase could ultimately be what fulfils her. 

This is Cheyenne’s story, but Brown does not short change the other characters not matter how large a part they play in her story.  Each has complexities that draw you further into the story. 

While the characters speak to issues involved in women’s fiction, it is the setting of a start up news network sets the stage for the thriller/suspense aspects of the story.  Taking Cheyenne out of her comfort zone in Palo Alto with her boyfriend and essentially cutting her off from seeing her father add to the suspense of the story.  Is someone isolating her?  Or is it just the nature of the business?

Brown concludes Cheyenne’s story.  She gives it a fitting end.  At the same time, as I read the last pages, when the sender of the diary is revealed, there is the sense of another story to be told.  This isn’t a cheesy cliff-hanger.  Rather it is a possibility of more to come. 

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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