Again, no cover to show due to lack of an image online. This one will have to wait until I get home to the scanner. However, this gem of a book is too good not to blog immediately. ABSOLUTE BRIGHTNESS by James Lecesne (my husband thinks there might be a connection given the close spelling of our own last name) tells of a family, indeed an entire town, changed by the presence of Leonard Pelkey. He arrives at the home of a distant relative and begins to affect changes right away. Leonard is different. No hum-drum existence for him. He wants platform sneakers and cannot buy them in this small burg. So, he fashions his own pair. He makes suggestions for new hairstyles, makeup, and clothes to all the women who frequent the beauty shop run by Phoebe's mother in a converted room attached to their home. Leonard's advice is not always welcome especially from Phoebe's perspective. However, bit by bit, Leonard wins over Phoebe and many of the residents of Neptune, New Jersey. No one realizes how much of an impact he has had until he disappears one evening on the way home from theater practice.
Phoebe, our narrator, is a girl on the brink. When Leonard arrives, he provides just a little nudge, something that forces Phoebe to examine her life in the light of Leonard's bright spirit. The pace, like that change, is slow and not always steady.