Holly Brown's latest novel, How Far She's Come, is quite timely. Brown herself says she took inspiration from news headlines. As she was writing, further allegations and social media actions were snowballing such as #MeToo.
Brown sets her story in an independent cable news network. Twenty four year old Cheyenne Florian believes passionately in the American people's need to know and right to question. She vlogged her stories.....until things went bad - cyber bullying, stalking, threats and more. But, when her dream job as a news correspondent is offered to her by the wealthy man who runs INN, she leaps at the chance.
And she leaped without really looking in my opinion. Suffice it to say, things do not go well here either. The newsroom is a hotbed of sexism, sexual abuse, rivalry, hate, fear, hostility, manipulation, abuse of power and more. Someone leaves Cheyenne the diary of another newsreader from twenty five years ago. Her experience mirrors what is happening to Cheyenne. But the final pages are missing. What happened to her?
I absolutely appreciate the sentiment, the story and the truth of Brown's novel. Her premise is fact based. And we're all aware of what has been happening in the real world. And yes, it's wrong - very, very wrong.
But fictionally, I had a problem with Cheyenne. I was puzzled with her taking the job, based on what had happened to her in the past - which seems to be the reason she is hired. She didn't question anything and went along with some very iffy directions and situations. "It's insulting, this reminder that I'm here for my body and not my mind, like I'm their little Broadcast Barbie." She's uncomfortable, but keeps playing. And I ask why? Why not question? Why not speak up? Given that her vlog was based on transparency and speaking her mind, I expected a different approach.
To be honest, as I turned pages, I felt like this was a story I had already read. And in part I had, through actual news footage etc. Brown does put her own spin on things with the mystery of the newsreader from the past and her journal. But I found parts of her tale a bit far fetched. But, have a look for yourself - here's an excerpt of How Far She's Come.
Holly Brown lives with her husband and toddler daughter in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she’s a practicing marriage and family therapist. She is the author of the novel Don’t Try to Find Me, and her blog, “Bonding Time,” is featured on the mental health website PsychCentral.com. Find out more aboutHolly on her website, andconnect with her on Facebook. See what other on the TLC book tour thought - here's the full schedule.
I received this book for review from HarperCollins and TLC Book Tours.