My kids are all grown up but back when they were young I used to wait until certain weekends and I would get them up out of bed and tell them "Come on - we are going on an adventure."
They'd always want to know where we were going but that was half of the fun was getting there without actually knowing which way we were going.
Sometimes I'd take them to the movies - but by way of the hamburger shop - so we stop and have a hamburger and then a little further on we'd stop and feed the birds in the park and then we'd get to the movies and buy a hotdog and popcorn and some pop and watch whatever we had come for. Then on the way home we might stop by a playground or a park with a hill where we would play the gorilla game, running up and down the hill thumping our chests like happy-minded lunatics.
They never knew WHERE we were going or how we would get there.
THAT THING THAT HAPPENED is a "let's go on an adventure" kind of novel.
It is the kind of book that a reader just climbs onto and does his best to hang on for the ride.
I never knew what was going to happen next. The book read a little like life that way - one minute going in one direction and after another minute we would cartwheel the compass and start running off madly in all directions at once.
In the hands of another writer this would have irritated the heck out of me - but Libby Broadbent kept things moving forward - just not bothering to give the reader much in the way of a road map.
What made it all work was her characters.
By the time I was one chapter I was so darned invested in her Cosy Lefevre that I would have cheerfully followed that woman into a food processor set to frappe - and I would have happily tapdanced every step of the way.
You are going to giggle a lot.
You are going to growl when somebody does something mean and stupid and nasty.
You are going to gasp when that thing DOES happen.
You are going to be grinning the whole way through.
At the end of the day you are going to feel as if you sat down with your five best friends and they told you what happened in five directions and you got the story in five different voices and by the end of the day you made up your own mind about what really happened.
This book is fun and sad and it will leave with wondering what comes next at every single chapter along the way - right up until the final page.
I'd recommend this book to all free-thinking folk who aren't bound up or constipated over sticking to any one particular genre.
I didn't buy this on Kobo. I bought it directly from the author herself at a Book Fair that I was selling at. I heard her read the first chapter and I was hooked from the get-go.
Pick up a copy today.
I guarantee an adventure.
Yours in storytelling