Novelist Beth Kephart of Devon is in love with an old gray lady and she's not afraid to shout it from the rooftop of her blog. "I have always loved the Times," Kepart blogs of her affection for the New York Times. "Today I love Her even more than always and forever."
It's easy to understand why. When The New York Times, a.k.a. "The Old Gray Lady" of publishing prints a glowing review of your new novel it can be the publishing world's equivalent of striking gold.
A new review was published Friday in the New York Times Book Review about Kephart's latest book Small Damages. The children's/teen/young adult novel hits bookstores this week and tells the story of 18-year-old Kenzie, an aspiring, Syracuse-University-bound filmmaker from Philadelphia society who gets pregnant. Kenzie is then shipped off to Spain for five months by her recently widowed, now manic, and seemingly soulless, mother under the guise of taking culinary arts classes. The real purpose is for Kenzie to have the baby and leave the child behind with adoptive parents in Europe.
The book is categorized under children's books in both the New York Times and Publisher's Weekly listings, but is reccommended for readers 14 and older.
The review praises Kephart for her writing of the complex emotions and decisions Kenzie faces while grappling with what she wants and what those around her want.
With Oprah gone (and arguably even when Oprah was Oprah on daytime TV), a positive nod from the New York Times Book Review is the gold ring, the pinnacle, the mountain top of good press for a novelist. In responding to the review Kephart writes in her blog: "We yearn, as writers, to be understood. We yearn to be read with an open heart. We can't even believe our good fortune when this happens to us in the pages of the Times."
The Times is not the only publication raving about Kephart's new book.
According to Kephart's blog Publisher's Weekly has named Small Damages among the best new books for the week of July 16.
Where to find out more about Devon author Beth Kephart: