Novelists are often difficult to" get into". One has to persist. For example, I am currently reading Saturday - Ian McEwan (see http://www.ianmcewan.com/). Powerful, but largely because I know the style and the subtle writing, the texture, the nuances. Having read his other books - Amsterdam, Atonement, Enduring Love, Black Dogs, Innocent, The Comfort of Strangers, A Child of Time (I didn't get round to The Cement Garden) - I know how to read this complex author. Many picking this up for the first time may not find it quickly accessible.
It is with delight, therefore, when one discovers a novelist who is intelligent, accessible and poignant. I have written before about Anita Shreve's The Weight of Water (see October 9th - its in the archive) and her other excellent novel All He Ever Wanted. I also think Light in Snow is a wonderful book showing authors how to develop character. Its difficult, and she does it so effortlessly here.
One of her books - The Pilot's Wife - was an Oprah Book Club selection - bet that made her very happy (not to mention wealthy). This was subsequently a film, as was her Weight of Water (Sean Penn) and Resistance (directed by Todd Komarnicki - Terminal 29). So she's up there - an up and coming author with some fifteen books to her credit.
All authors should read as much of the work of others as possible. Anita's work is worth really looking at for its elegance, character and use of dialogue. I am enjoying her work.