Meet Roanne Chappell -- definitely not your ordinary teenage girl. A product of the loving but decidedly unorthodox guardianship of her mother, Del, Roanne is a fascinating study in contrasts. Equal parts bold seductress and wide-eyed innocent, smart-ass teenager and wizened sage, she is an outlandish, charismatic, and wholly inspired creation. Unabashedly outspoken (and an increasingly accomplished flirt), Roanne quietly longs for escape -- particularly from her mother's overwhelming and over-powering shadow. Her chance comes after she discovers, much to her horror, that the professor she had slept with is also bedding her mother. "I just can't seem to stop feeling like one of those air-sucking dogs people leave in cars with the windows open just a tiny bit. I need to put my whole face, my whole self, in the air for a while to try and figure out who I am when I'm not standing next to my amazing mum." To clear her head, Roanne begins a journey and goes from feeling like an outsider to being embraced by a very special group of people -- people whom most others have found strange or different but with whom Roanne feels right at home. From a marriage proposal by the teenage son of the founders of the Christian Rebirth Center, to her relationship with new best friend Gilbey Tarr -- the sixteen-year-old "Teenage Goddess from Outer Space" -- to a reunion with Dickie Siggins -- international pop star and her mother's life-long friend -- to a bittersweet reconciliation with Del, Roanne soars headfirst into a world of tragedy and comedy, and in the process learns about life, love, and death -- and everything in between. With this richly satisfying debut novel, Gale Zoë Garnett has channeled Roanne's outsized passions into a tightly crafted and powerfully moving narrative, charting a journey to lands unknown, emotions untapped, and experience unforeseen. Visible Amazement injects contemporary fiction with welcome jolts of crackling humor and unexpected drama. Written in a totally original and unique voice, the novel, like its heroine, is delightful, disturbing, and utterly unforgettable.
Anne Lamott author of Operating Instructions A wonderful book in every way. Garnett writes with humor, wisdom, and soul, perfectly capturing the voices and hearts of her marvelous, tough, funny, touching characters.
Evan S. Connell author of Son of the Morning Star Bawdy, funny, sometimes desperate and moon-struck....
Christopher Plummer A female Salinger...a joy to read.
Aaron Latham author of The Urban Cowboy I am in love with Roanne. She may be a little too young for me...but I am willing to overlook that. At one point Roanne observes that reading is a pleasant alternative to suicide. The problem is, reading this book, you could laugh yourself to death.
Donald Freed author of The Secret HonorVisible Amazement is a rite of passage unlike anything else since Catcher in the Rye. Funny, grave, and wildly hopeful.
Jack Lemmon Gale Zoë Garnett has written a fascinating teenage study in a remarkably bright, crisp, and unique style. She has developed her subject character in an absolutely flawlessly convincing manner. This is an absorbing, entertaining, and thought-provoking book. I enjoyed it immensely.
Norman Jewison This voyage of self-discovery by a brave but vulnerable fourteen-year-old will make you laugh and make you cry.
Simon Callow author of Love Is Where It Falls A truly extraordinary, utterly original piece of work -- compassionate, tender, funny, frightening, but, above it all, authentic, true through and through. Roanne's voice is unique....Gale Zoë Garnett is a thrilling new recruit to the ranks of brilliant writers.