Pebble & Dove by Amy Jones 

It’s so easy to slip under Amy Jones’s narrative spell. When my copy of her new novel, Pebble & Dove, arrived, I swear I just opened it up for a second. When I looked up, about 20 pages later, I realized that I’d have to put my current read off to the side because that I-need-to-know itch was infuriating. Starting with a bit of heartache is a great way to ease a reader into your characters’ lives, and Jones excels at that: her creations are real, struggling people that we’ve just interrupted during their latest crisis. Centring on the characters of Lauren and her teenage daughter Dove, this fractured family makes a sudden departure for a Florida trailer park after their lives are upended. Hunkering down in a trailer that belonged to Imogen, Lauren’s eccentric, kinda-famous mother, and adjacent to a marina where a captive manatee promises renewal, the two women are lost and adrift in a new space chock full of humorous, revealing incidents, and colourful characters. With shifting points of view, ridiculous escalating action, and enough truth to bring several tears to your eye, Pebble & Dove is another masterwork of Jones that salvages people from the never-ending wear ‘n’ tear of relationships, and the best book I’ve ever read about a very lonely manatee.

-Justin Allec