Cover image for Something rising (light and swift)
Something rising (light and swift)
Kimmel, Haven, 1965-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Free Press, [2004]

Physical Description:
273 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


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X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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In her first two books, Haven Kimmel claimed her spot on the literary scene- surprising readers with her memoir, A Girl Named Zippy, and winning an outpouring of critical acclaim for her first novel, The Solace of Leaving Early. Now, in her second novel, she brings to the page a heroine's tireless quest for truth, love, justice, and the perfect game of 9-ball.Cassie Claiborne's world is riddled with problems beyond her control: her hard- living, pool-shooting father has another wife; her stoic, long-suffering mother is incapable of moving herself mentally away from the kitchen window; her sister Belle is a tempest of fragility and brilliance; her closest friends, Puck and Emmy, are adolescent harbingers of their own doomed futures. Frustrated by her inability to care deeply enough for so many troubled souls, Cassie finds in the local pool hall an oasis of green felt where she can master objects and restrain her emotions.As Cassie grows from a quietly complex girl into a headstrong young woman, she takes on the thankless role of family provider by working odd jobs and hustling pool. All the while, she keeps her eye on the ultimate prize: wringing suitable justice out of past wrongs and freeing herself from the inertia that is her life.In this ultimately uplifting story, Haven Kimmel reaches deep into the hamstrung souls of her fictional corner of Indiana. Remarkable for its tough tenderness, Something Rising (Light and Swift) is an astonishing work of pure heartbreak.

Author Notes

Haven Kimmel studied English & creative writing at Ball State University & North Carolina State University & attended seminary at the Earlham School of Religion. She lives in Durham, North Carolina.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Like her first novel, The Solace of Leaving Early (2002), Kimmel's second is set in a fictional small town in Indiana. Cassie Claiborne, the most grounded person in her family, longs for her feckless father to return home but in the meantime, she grows into a young woman and shoulders the burden herself. On one of his increasingly rare visits, her father takes her to a pool hall, and she watches him play. When she takes her turn with the cue, it becomes clear that Cassie has an innate talent for the game. She starts playing for money and routinely beats arrogant men who think they can easily best a young girl. Her skill ultimately leads her to a match with her father, but even pool playing can't make up for his abandonment of her, or the fact that Cassie's destiny might lie beyond Roseville. A connection to the characters in her first novel will make readers of Solace smile, and those new to Kimmel will find her thoughtful prose evocative and fresh. A beautiful coming-of-age story. --Kristine Huntley Copyright 2003 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Kimmel returns to the semirural Indiana of her bestselling memoir, A Girl Named Zippy, and her witty novel, The Solace of Leaving Early, to recount, in graceful episodes, the troubled coming-of-age of Cassie Claiborne, who balances "on the fulcrum of happiness and despair." Following a stage-setting prologue, the book opens with 10-year-old Cassie waiting, as usual, for her irresponsible, often absent father. Jimmy Claiborne is a selfish lout who cares more for pool than his family ("You know you're my favorite, Cassie, although God knows that ain't saying much"), but his love for the game soon becomes Cassie's when his friend Bud teaches her to play. As a teenager, she's a pool shark, paying the bills for her defeated, distant mother, Laura, and taking care of her overachieving, agoraphobic sister, Belle. Understandably, she'd like a better life. After Jimmy splits for good-divorcing his wife and emancipating his daughters-Laura waxes nostalgic about an old boyfriend in New Orleans whom she left for Cassie's father. Cassie fantasizes about how things might have been had her mother stayed with that man, "her shadow father." At 30, Cassie has become a strong-willed feminist (though she'd never call herself that) who goes to New Orleans to defeat her demons and her mother's old boyfriend in a game of nine-ball. Kimmel's characters are sympathetic and believable, and the author proves herself equally deft at conveying smalltown desolation and the physics of pool. With a tougher core than her previous books, and an ending that's redemptive without being clich?d, Kimmel's latest is another winner. Agent, Bill Clegg. (Jan. 6) Forecast: Aggressive promotion-including a 15-city author tour-should help Kimmel build her fiction readership, which has yet to match the response to her memoir. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

After a memoir (A Girl Named Zippy) and a debut novel (The Solace of Leaving Early), both well-received works with a lyrical bent, Kimmel attempts something different: the rough-and-tough story of a teenaged girl who helps support her family by working construction and shooting pool for money. Cassie does her best after her shark/hustler father abandons the family in small-town Indiana. The going-nowhere losers, the phobic and reclusive older sister, the seemingly passive mother, and the tender grandfather are all carefully drawn. Better yet is Uncle Bud, proprietor of the local pool hall, who teaches Cassie what she needs to know, supports her emotionally and sometimes financially, and shepherds her into adulthood. Cassie has two men to conquer: her father and the rich New Orleans doctor her mother might have married. More development of Cassie's character would have helped, and the ending is perhaps too suddenly sweet, but we should buy this one to encourage this talented author.-Judith Kicinski, Sarah Lawrence Coll. Lib., Bronxville, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.