When the manuscript for The Rent Collector first came across my desk, I agreed to read it mostly as a favor to an old friend. Little did I know what a favor he had done for me by sending Camron Wright our way!
I’ve reviewed a whole lot of manuscripts in my time, and it doesn’t generally take me long to form an opinion about an author’s writing style, but this one may have set a new record. I wasn't more than two pages in before I was thinking, “Wow, I like how this guy writes.” By the end of the first chapter, I was hooked. By the end of the book, I was wondering how on earth we had gotten lucky enough to be considered as the publisher for a work like this. All I could think of was, “How quickly can we get this out so my book group can read it?”
I started to tell my friends what I was feeling, and of course they wanted to know more about the book. Why did I love it so much? I tried to think how I could explain that to them without giving away the plot—because one of the book’s real delights is the way it reveals itself piece by piece as the story unfolds. So, without robbing my friends of any of the discoveries they were going to make, I told them what I thought was so great: The writing is natural and intelligent and full of life. The setting is vivid and rings absolutely true, which is astonishing to me, as I never could have imagined such an existence.
The characters are dimensional and memorable and so, so likable.
The plot takes you in directions you had never envisioned it going.
But what I love best is the hope. The hope that stays alive even when it seems impossible that anything will ever come of it. The hope that is somehow reborn after a person has long since abandoned it. The hope that persists in the hardest of circumstances, that refuses to surrender, that finds a way.
It was one of the best book group discussions we've ever had. We couldn't stop talking about The Rent Collector. This is the kind of book that makes me love my job!