I met Heather Dixon in the creative writing classroom. Since then I've had the pleasure of learning more about her--things like, she's a generous person; she's always learning more about story-craft; and she works hard.
Entwined, as Betty Edit noted on her blog, is the kind of book that's hard to put down. It's so well-paced, emotionally engaging, and rich that you continue turning pages, against tiredness and life's deadlines, to see what you'll experience next.
There's a lot to love about Heather's writing and storytelling, but here are a few of my favorites:
1. She hits a range of emotional notes and chords. She can take you from laughing to afraid to crying to hoping--all in a single chapter if she chooses to.
2. She weaves humor into the story's pages and beautiful flourishes that delight the reader. Her writing is stylized and visual.
3. The story-threads and tiniest of details are all important to what unfolds. They weave in and out and merge with other threads to create a whole experience for the reader.
4. She knows what she writes (not writes what she knows, although she probably does that too). In other words, whatever she creates in words, she first imagines, thinks about, researches, understands. This is apparent in the authenticity of her characters, the story's rich settings, and the natural and cohesive way in which the story unfolds--not to mention the dancing!
Take a look at some of the major reviews for Entwined (under Critical Praise).