Author: J.L. Lawson
Genre: Literary Fiction, Adventure, Coming of Age
“If you had virtually unlimited resources and a pristinely practicable imagination, and a knack for turning air into butter, what do you suppose you’d do next?”
—Tera Elphinstone, Drummond Group Director
Just A Curtain is the remarkable, fast-paced gateway to bothThe Elf series and the grander epic recorded in J. L. Lawson’s other works: The Donkey and The Wall trilogy and The Curious Voyages of the Anna Virginia Saga.
Just A Curtain chronicles the remarkable life and achievements of Dashiel Drummond and the capable group of people he gathers around him to make a change for the better in the world in which he finds himself. A coming of age story, orphaned at sixteen, he rises through the angst of adolescence to the challenge of fulfilling the promise of his potential—from ranch hand and welder to the pre-eminent global entrepreneur and builder of starships.
What an amazing adventure. We follow Dash from his younger years, when he inherits his parents’ ranch after they passed away, and combines two studies in college. He’s driven and intelligent, and always willing to make time for his friends, which I thought was admirable as well, especially considering how much work he has on a daily basis.
This is a coming of age story with plenty of angst, but it’s also a story about growing, about becoming the person you’re meant to be, about facing challenges head on. Dash joins an endeavor his parents used to be part of, and he becomes the boss of a multi-national organization.
There’s plenty of adventure, fantasy, mystery and suspense thrown in the mix to keep things intriguing. My favorite part was when Dash built the boat. It made me feel really connected to him, because my dad and I used to do that when I was still a little kid as well.
The business talk confused me sometimes. I know nothing about business and engineering, and it was difficult to follow for me at times.
Then halfway through, the POV switches to Melanie and Emma, two employees of Dash, and we’re ten years later. While I liked Dash, I liked Melanie even more. Emma a little less though. Emma was too ‘out there’ for me, a little too outgoing and too confident. I also liked Naota, who is actually a woman from Rutin (I could tell you what that is, but I won’t – just read the book) and that gave her an unique perspective on everything. She was my favorite character, because she was unique and different.
There were a lot of secondary characters, sometimes too many to keep track of. But apart from that, I really loved this book. It’s different, it’s unique, it’s entertaining.