BookBrowse Reviews Some of It Was Real by Nan Fischer

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Some of It Was Real

by Nan Fischer

Some of It Was Real by Nan Fischer X
Some of It Was Real by Nan Fischer
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    Jul 2022, 352 pages

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A psychic performer and skeptical reporter clash but then find common ground in this engaging and nuanced mystery.

Nan Fischer is an Oregon Book Award finalist for her previous novels When Elephants Fly and The Speed of Falling Objects. First Impressions reviewers gave Some of It Was Real a strong average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.

What the book is about:

Sylvie Young is a psychic-medium who uses glitzy performances before packed audiences to demonstrate her abilities. Her success is burgeoning, and she is aiming for stardom. Thomas Holmes, a reporter for the L.A. Times, is determined to write a front-page expose about Sylvie to prove she is a hoax. However, he has insufficient evidence to support his claim. Thomas and Sylvie make a commitment to travel together to her next "gig" in Oregon…Sylvie agrees to a detour to visit her foster parents so Thomas can interview them about her childhood. This trip is transformational for both as they deal with issues involving relationships, families, Sylvie's spontaneous predictions to strangers, haunting dreams, and family secrets (Mel F).

Several reviewers expressed surprise at how much they enjoyed Fischer's book despite it not seeming to hold immediate appeal for them.

Reading the description, I didn't think this book would grab my interest but I was pleasantly surprised! … I was worried a story about a psychic would be ridiculous and not believable, but that wasn't how it played out. I was interested in both main characters, learning more about Sylvie's backstory, and felt the pace moved along quickly (Amber H). This was not my typical choice to read but the synopsis sounded interesting, so I took a chance and it was a very pleasant surprise (Gary R). I am not typically a big fan of books about psychics/mediums, but must say I enjoyed Nan Fischer's tale (Patricia S).

Readers found the relationship between the two main characters believable and touching.

Sylvie and Thomas are believable characters because the author displays their good and bad traits with great timing and good emotional response (windellh). This is not a romance although there is a relationship. It is more of a dual coming-of-age in early adulthood for two people, each with a traumatic past. There is also a family saga involved for each of them. Along with some very poignant animal companion moments. I did cry at one point (Peggy T). The two main characters set off traveling together, both with bad intent, filled with animosity and hate. As they delve into the past, they each end up sharing their basic humanity and vulnerability with the other even though their cross-purposes continue. An intriguing, engaging read (Samantha H).

Some found the book a bit difficult to get into, but were eventually pulled along for the ride.

This book took me a little while to get into. I didn't enjoy the writing style but the plot was great, so even though I kept putting it down, I was still thinking about the characters. Then about halfway through I couldn't put it down (Karen R). It took me a little while to really get into this book but then I was hooked and finished most of it in one reading (Peggy T).

Others praised the novel for its high level of suspense and its ability to deliver the unexpected.

Not often do I read a mystery where I haven't figured out the ending mid-way through the book. Here the ending is unexpected and believable, a hard line to walk (Dee dee K). I really enjoyed Nan Fischer's writing style and was kept in suspense for most of the book…I believe readers will be focused on this story until the very end because it has many clever twists! (Sylvia T). Ms. Fischer narrates in such a way that keeps her readers engaged and always questioning as to which perspective is most believable and what reality truly is (Sherri T).

Readers enthusiastically recommended Some of It Was Real and felt it was a great combination of fun and substantial.

Highly recommend this one for book clubs, or for anyone who needs a "light read" but with substance (Lupita G). This is a book I can recommend to all my reading friends. I am excited to read this book with my book club. There are so many themes to talk about. My favorite book of the year! (Catherine O). Some of It Was Real is an interesting combination of a mystery adventure and complex character development. Days later I still find myself thinking about this story (Samantha H).

This review first ran in the August 3, 2022 issue of BookBrowse Recommends.

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