What do you do when your favorite auto-buy writer comes out with a book about movie stars-and you don't like Hollywood books? That was my dilemma when I received a copy of The Spiral Path. Then again, considering that Mary Jo Putney was the writer, someone who could no doubt make a vacuum cleaner infomercial riveting, I figured that it would have to be better than the typical Tinsel town story of glitz and glamour.
Turns out that it was way better than that. The Spiral Path is a compelling, emotional story that deals with overcoming the traumas of a man's childhood, healing and learning to trust someone enough to love them unconditionally.
With deft skill, Putney moves the reader back and forth through time, using flashbacks to tell the the beginning of Kenzie Scott and Raine Marlowe's relationship and marriage. Through the filming of the movie we see Kenzie slowly unraveling as he is forced, really for the first time, to confront the horrors of his past . Something Kenzie has to do if he is to have any hope for a future with Raine.
The metaphor of a labyrinth (a place constructed or filled with confusing or intricate passageways) plays well through this book. Not only as a place that Kenzie retreats to for healing, but also to describe the twists and turns in the story. Just when you think you've reached a climatic point, as in a maze you turn the corner and realize there's more waiting. Even with all those ups and downs, I found that the pace and energy of The Spiral Path strong to the end.
As a longtime fan of Putney's historical work, I am delighted that her contemporary work has the same depth and elements that has made her historicals keepers in my collection. The Spiral Path is a welcome addition to my keeper shelf.