When I really love an author’s first book, I get quite scared to read any more of their work. What if they’re not as good?
Not a problem.
Red Dirt #2 is funnier than #1 – love is a rich field for all kinds of drama and comedy – and a little less stressful than the first (which is good – if the tension level was as high in the second book I think it would invalidate the first a little bit). The characters continue to jump off the page – Miss McKenzie, the bagpipe-loving teacher who bakes cookies for a pig; Banjo Davies the lovelorn poet (aged 10); the terrifying twins Wes and Fez (and their injuries, which would fill libraries); and Blue herself, a twelve-year old tomboy unimpressed by the many eccentricities of L.O.V.E.
Once again, Nannestad has managed to wrangle a climax out of the diary format.
She was also perfectly lovely – and hilarious – in person. A lot of the humour in the books comes from the larger-than-life antics of the characters. If pressed, I might have described them as “more funny than realistic” but the stories she told about real small-town people made Wes and Fez themselves seem like models of sanity.