Leila Meacham came out of nowhere in 2011 and hit the best seller lists with her epic novel ROSES. This sweeping saga appealed to a wide variety of readers and put Ms. Meacham on the literary map. She followed this book up with TUMBLEWEEDS and SOMERSET, which were both good but not equal to ROSES. Some felt she had peaked with her first novel and would never scale those heights again.
Those people however failed to gauge the depths of Ms. Meacham's writing talents. She is now back with a new novel, TITANS, and it equals and perhaps surpasses ROSES with its literary and popular content. This is another sweeping saga about several families living in Texas in the early 1900's. It has everything any reader could want in a book - unique and appealing characters; a plot that combines historical information with a story concerning love, deceit and betrayal; and enough twists and turns to guarantee you will not guess the final outcome.
The story starts out with a husband and wife having twins. The mother of the children states she can only handle one child and demands her husband get rid of the other twin. So the husband does as she asks and selects one child and gives the other up for adoption. Years later the twins, Samantha Gordon and Nathan Holloway, meet. They have no idea they are related but feel a special bond. There is no love affair involved as this is rather a bond of the spirit.
Their friendship causes numerous complications in several families and it takes Leila Meacham a whopping six hundred plus pages to get their story told. The amazing thing about her writing is you are furious when the story ends. You want more; six hundred plus pages is just not enough. From the time the reader absorbs the first sentence until the last one is digested there is a wealth of storytelling enjoyment involved.
Meacham's story is one to be savored, admired and witnessed. Page after page, event after event, this is epic storytelling that plunges the reader headfirst into the plot. Samantha, Nathan and a host of other characters are not just names on a page but rather become friends of your mind and heart. They are so well drawn by Meacham's skills that they become living, breathing individuals.
Leila Meacham writes about "titans" in the ranching and oil businesses, but she is a titan herself. TITANS will tower over the competition this summer and will be "the" book you will want to take to the beach. Don't count on it taking days to finish for it will induce you to read it all day and through the night until it is over.
TITANS is published by Grand Central. It contains 626 pages and sells for $24.99.
Jackie K Cooper