My new favorite author is Tim Gautreaux. I just finished The Missing, which I checked out from the library initially due to its cover (lovely) but then I noticed on the back cover both Annie Proulx and Richard Russo called him the latest greatest author of the century or somesuch praise—I cannot remember exactly the words. But when Proulx and Russo are supplying your blurbs, you're kicking ass.
As a story, The Missing was not amazing—full of unreasonable demands to believe particular characters would do-say-react in particular ways at particular moments. Plot driven, I'd go as far as to charge. But the writing, oh the writing. Really fine writing. You could practically eat it, so good.
Then I realized Proulx and Russo were actually raving about a different book of Gautreaux's: not The Missing, but The Clearing. This excited me, there was potential now for good writing with a good story. I am only on page ten or so of The Clearing, but so far, so good.