Let me see…the very best thing about this novel? I would have to say it’s finding out Theodore had more brains than first assumed by those who knew him best. I suppose that if there’s something to take and hold precious from this wondrous novel, it would be that sometimes things should simply go like they’re supposed to now and then.
With that indicated, Evangeline is a somewhat morbid and shocking novel written by E.A. Gottschalk; a writer, I gather, who understands a few things about psychological issues. Evangeline, it turns out, is a unique reflection of her shy and socially awkward sister, Angeline. After enduring an unfair amount of abuse from so many different directions and substantial dismissing by her troubled mother, Evangeline steps in on behalf of her sister to enact some active measures.
I should point out that I so, so enjoyed this wonderful story, and not just because of the delicious lunacy, however soothing that can be. No, although this is a crazy tale written by someone, shall we say, intimately involved with a troubled environment according to the brief bio, this is a well-written novel flowing with strong prose and a solid conversational tone. The numerous supporting characters fit well into the flow and they are well-cast. In fact, the range of characters found here are about as well chosen as any reader or writer could ask for in a high quality work of fiction.
This story certainly would have many reconsidering their assumptions about Nebraska; I can pass on that much. Gottschalk makes Stephen King’s Maine cozy in demeanor compared to this perception of Nebraska, but one must suppose Gottschalk would know more about where he/she (I’m wondering) spends so much time. I have to say that this is my first exposure to anything Nebraska (except perhaps Larry the Cable Guy) and now I really want to go there.
Within this story, Evangeline is our narrator throughout this gem of a tale, so she’s able to offer us the intimate goings on within the heart and mind of Angeline. Through Evangeline we discover Angeline has a difficult life, what with her being bullied and socially outcast as mentioned above, but this girl does retain the courage of her convictions, struggling to keep her, well, more assertive sister under control. So goes the tests some must face that others will never understand without this sort of revelation.
But fine writing offers story and action, so here we find Evangeline taking the reins a good deal of the time and when necessary. Even finer writing tosses in a twist and wrinkle, so we find a positive influence from a rather unlikely and somewhat surprising source. Much of this forces Evangeline to desire a more substantial role in various concerns, particularly because of a lot of disappointment.
Our humble servant takes good care of several issues with aplomb before circumstances beyond her control force her life-long mission into hiatus. But she has plans, this clever girl, and her intentions mature and intensify while she waits for the right moment. Thus, we can only hope that Evangeline and her Gottschalk creator obtain the release they so deserve, and then this world receives the solutions it requires. But for now, they lie in respite while the remainder of the world catches up with their mode of thinking.
So Evangeline, Evan, and so many others out there like you, please know there are those of us out here pining for your return, waiting anxiously while the madness only continues. To the readers of this review, I ask you please pursue this novel as your next read as it comes highly recommended. I strongly encourage you to read this story and, just perhaps, you might finally recognize what this world truly needs in today’s heroes. As for our delightful author, Gottschalk, we’re rooting for your release to us out here because, frankly, we need you.