About The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope:
The story of Adam Hope begins as WWII ends. Evelyn Roe finds what thinks is a badly injured soldier on her family’s farm in rural North Carolina and literally unearths him. But she quickly discovers he is a very unique stranger, not a man, and not one of us. Vastly different from Evelyn, he is also capable of being almost identical to her. The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope is about being the other, about loving others, and accepting what we cannot understand. For me, the heart of this book is the moment we look at someone we love and have known for a long time—a friend, a parent, lover, spouse or child—and think “Who are you?” The question can be one of amazement and delight or a dark panic. How do we love someone we cannot understand or fully know?
The Carolina red clay dirt and the freshwater springs of north central Florida play a major role in the story. Nature is one of its central characters. There are also lots of horses, a good bit of music, some sex, a baby birthing, and one acid trip. Adam’s story is also about story-telling and how it is both an individually motivated act and one that can only exist within a group. Stories are born in that space between teller and listener. Then they move on. So I hope you’ll read the book and carry this story forward a little. Share your own ideas about Adam Hope: Who is he? What is he? And where is he now–today while you are reading this? If you think you’ve seen him—or her—let us know. Post your speculations and discoveries. Play.
The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope is my first published book. When I was in college, I published a few poems, then a couple of essays, but there was one story I could not make fit into a poem, an essay or a short story—the story of my mother’s life. I attended the University of Florida and received an MFA in fiction writing, then real life distracted me. But still I wanted to write my mother’s story. Finally, after a divorce and the death of my brother, I decided life was too short to wait any longer. I quit my job and bought myself some time to write a very fictional account of my mother’s voice. Many drafts, three jobs, and two writing groups later, I had a polished novel and the fortune to find a wonderful agent and great editor at Ecco. I live in Gainesville, Florida with a new, good man, two aging and equally good cats, and many frogs.
Here’s what a few others have had to say about The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope:
“The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope is strange and powerful, a hybrid work that’s part Alice Munro, part Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and entirely, marvelously, itself. In her debut novel, Rhonda Riley has written the most resonant and touching love story I’ve read in a very long time.”
—Lauren Groff, bestselling author of Arcadia and The Monsters of Templeton
“The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope is an incredible, otherworldly love story. Both whimsical and deeply satisfying, it’s a tale about the fluidity of love, the importance of family, and the meaning of home. Rhonda Riley gives us a new way of looking at the human heart-its boundaries as well as its boundlessness. Her debut reads with the urgency of a lifelong secret finally confessed.”
—Julianna Baggott, bestselling author of Pure and Girl Talk
“Rhonda Riley’s debut novel fuses a lyrical, tender love story with a sophisticated depiction of a supernatural sentient being… [Riley] succeeds both in getting the reader to suspend disbelief and fashioning a compelling story.”