Hot off the press with an April 23 release date, The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope is an impressive debut novel by Gainesville, Fla., resident Rhonda Riley. It comes with the hearty endorsement of Adam Brady, an employee of Square Books in Oxford, who was fortunate to read an advance copy.
“It’s a really good book and has a twist to it; it’s not what you first think it is,” Brady said. “During the waning days o World War II, a 17-year-old tomboy, Evelyn Roe, is sent to take care of her family’s farm in North Carolina. She finds a wounded soldier and takes care of him, but he turns out to be something entirely different.”
The rescued soldier heals at an unnatural speed, and just as fast he and Evelyn fall in love. “It’s an unconventional and passionate love story. It’s breathtaking and unusual,” Brady said.
Rhonda Riley reveals the exhilarating, terrifying mystery intent in all relationships. It begs the question: are those we love really who we think they are? No matter how deeply we love someone and no matter how much we will sacrifice for them, we can only know them so well — as well as they allow us to know them. Without giving away too much of the story, Evelyn’s soldier morphs into different forms, even looking like her at one point. Perhaps Riley is using allegory to remind us that we sometimes try to re-make those we love without appreciating their differences from us.
Riley is a graduate of the creative writing program at the University of Florida.