From the very first pages of a book, you can tell if an author is confident in their storytelling skills or if they’re insecure with their choice of language. In The Absinthe Association by Athenaide Dallett, her tact and talent as a storyteller literally falls from the books pages and into the reader’s heart and soul.
The book is a unique combination of Singles, Reality Bites, and St. Elmo’s Fire. There are fiery, passionate characters and wallflowers. There are spontaneous heroes and reluctant romantics. But what unites this motley crew of recent college grads to come together is the random adventure into making absinthe. Their predilection for the liquid craziness ends up immersing them in the underground music scene in Maine and Connecticut, providing them with ammo to combat the madness that often accompanies post-education.
Athenaide Dallett carefully treads the fine line between schmaltz and angst. Perhaps it’s her own professional life as a teacher, but she manages to tell a tale that is at once both cautionary and nostalgic. Her precise use of words and phrases presents a familiar tale that any post-University student will instantly relate to. It’s like there is a sepia-tone coloring every page as the reader learns more and more about a certain group of friends who are incredibly smart, but also a little naive. At a scant 227 pages, Dallett has successfully managed to present a fully well-rounded story that would be a definite asset to any bookshelf or e-reader.