I was having a conversation with some writing cohorts about reality in fiction--specifically if a real town should be named or a real business used. The consensus was that it depends on the kind of story. At the time, I had recently finished Rebecca Talley's lovely book, The Upside of Down, and to me, it was a perfect example of where real facts and places added to the story. While many people who read this book will never visit Farmington, NM, and while it's not exactly important to the plot, it does add a nice layer of reality. Having been in Farmington many times, I liked being able to picture the action exactly where it was happening, especially the very unique church building. But the book's reality didn't stop at the setting.
Women's fiction, as this book is, is about believable fiction with real-life situations and trials. I like the experience I gain learning about the trials someone else is going through without having to experience it firsthand. It gives me a small slice of understanding. I love a book, like this one, that lets me experience everyday life through humor and drama, but in the end uplifts and encourages me. Rebecca Talley does a beautiful job balancing these, while telling a fun and interesting story. Because not everything ends up the way the main character would like, it is believable. And it is a story that has been on my mind for over a month--which is saying a lot! I recommended it to my book club and now I'm recommending it to you: it is well worth the read. And no, she didn't pay me to say it or even give me a free book! It's just that good!
To read more about The Upside of Down, or the author, Rebecca Talley, or to purchase a copy of the book, head on over here: http://www.rebeccatalley.com/