Last week Kate Racculia‘s debut novel, This Must be the Place, was released. It’s earning rave reviews, even garnering a star from the notoriously tough reviewers at Kirkus. Here’s what Publisher’s Weekly had to say about it:

Racculia’s irresistibly charming debut is an artful mix of genres: oddball domestic (set in a boardinghouse, characters named Desdemona and Oneida), coming-of-age (high school loves and teen angst) and literary women’s fiction (love, loss, and friendship)….With its happy ending and rich trove of Gen-X references and humor, this is a thoroughly enjoyable first novel, both accessibly absurd and quite touching.

And from that Kirkus review:

The author brilliantly captures teenage angst and uncertainty as she conveys some very grown-up truths about the choices we make and the prices we—and others—pay for them.  Intelligent, warm-hearted and tough-minded—Racculia is a talent to watch.

Kate and I were in a writing group together when we both lived in the Boston area, and I got to read some early chapters, and then was lucky enough to read a draft. I love books that sweep me up and make me feel like I’m in a different place; I especially like them if they take place in quirky small-towns with smart, witty characters.

Last Thursday I went down to the launch and there were cupcakes!

I am not too proud to admit that I went for a cupcake before I bought my copies of the book. You should go get the book, and then get yourself a cupcake to eat while reading. I promise that the descriptions of baking within will induce cravings and you will be glad to have a sweet or two on-hand.

Anyway, Kate has been running a series on her blog about music that inspired her and/or her characters.

From the title of the book, which comes from a Talking Heads song, to personal anthems, to Foreigner Kate drew on a wide-range of 80s and 90s music while writing this book. In the posts, there’s even a screenshot of Damon Albarn from a Blur video that makes me giddy every time I look at it (yes, I, too, have a thing for “disaffected British dudes with beautiful eyes and hollowed out hearts”). So here’s some more Blur for your enjoyment — I think Wendy would like it (once he got past all that w00-hooing).

Music Monday: The Music of This Must be the Place
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