Verdict: Richard Snodgrass’s gift for characterization, plotting, and dialogue make SOME RISE one of the most engaging family sagas/ literary mysteries we’ve read in years.
Richard Snodgrass’s stirring drama, SOME RISE, is the story of the troubled Sutcliff family. SOME RISE is Book Two of The Furnass Towers Trilogy, but for this reader having read the first book wasn’t necessary, as SOME RISE, on its own was such a compelling and enjoyable read.
Harry Todd Sutcliff returns to his childhood home, running from a series of personal and professional failures on the West Coast. But Harry discovers the dark secrets his Pennsylvania family harbor are at the heart of personal crisis. Harry learns his sister’s death decades ago was a suicide, and much of SOME RISE is Harry’s quest to discover the truth about his sister’s demise. Did her unusually close relationship with her father have something to with Kathleen’s death? Was it Harry’s fault? Does his domineering younger brother, Dickie, who runs the family’s real estate business with an iron hand, bear partial blame? And what role does kooky family matriarch Kitty play in all of it?
SOME RISE is about the power of love—both familial and romantic—how it both heals us and breaks our hearts. Harry Todd, Dickie, and Kitty are fully realized characters, each with disparate—sometimes conflicting—motivations. Abrasive Dickie is a drowning man grasping for human connection like a life-preserver. Kitty’s tale of unrequited, forbidden love is the novel’s most heartbreaking thread, while Harry Todd confronts his sordid past in search of a better future.
Snodgrass creates vivid scenes and settings. The epic battle between Harry and Dickie underpins this novel’s emotional journey. Even more impressive is the way Snodgrass turns the Sutcliff home—and Furnass itself—into a living, breathing character with a personality all its own. Snodgrass’s style is immersive—you can taste the soot and dust of Furnass as you navigate the emotional ups and downs of SOME RISE.
Richard Snodgrass’s gift for characterization, plotting, and dialogue make SOME RISE one of the most engaging family sagas/ literary mysteries we’ve read in years. The Sutcliff family has a way of sucking you in to their big house on the hill…and keeping you there.
~Rob Errera for IndieReader