Mariana - a book review/recommendation

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

I’ve been having a hell of a time with the writing lately. Nothing seems right. The voice is wrong, the pov is wrong, the story feels flat, and I don’t really care about the characters. I keep searching for that right hook, or angle, or entry point into the story that will make the magic happen, and end up writing and deleting in an endless, pointless, cruel circle. Kinda depressing. (This blasted heat & humidity isn’t helping any, either.)

Up until recently, I’ve also had the same dissatisfaction in reading choices. I’ve started and stopped a bunch of books, in just about every genre. I think in part, I was searching for the right ‘voice’. Then all the talk started up on Harlequin/Silhouettes new Epic line, and I guess that’s what influenced me to pick this 50 cent Goodwill buy from out of the to-be-read pile: Susanna Kearsley’s Marianna.

**I’m not one to give a shit about Amazon reviews, but I did notice, just now as I was searching for the link, that out of 21 reviews posted, only one was single star, the rest were all 4s & 5s.

It’s a lovely, lovely, book. Correction, love story. Actually, two love stories, one in the present and one in the past. It has a Gothic feel, with the setting beautifully done, the characters fully fleshed out—and, for the most part, all very likable in their idiosyncrasies. Even though I figured out some of the plot twists, there were still numerous surprises along the way and the little mysteries re the various subplots kept me intrigued. I’ve never read The Time Traveler’s Wife, but there’s a bit of that riff going through this book, in the sense that the present day heroine, goes back and forth in time, reliving her life as “Marianna” and solving the mystery of that past life, while dealing with changes in her current life. It’s quite a lovely book. I’ve said that already, I know, but I just finished it, and I have a lump in the throat right now, while my heart feels ‘full’. This is an Happily-Ever-After that was well earned, and I one hundred per cent believe in. It’s doesn’t look like Ms. Kearsley has much of a back list, and nothing released since 2002, but a number of the plots seem interesting enough to see if I can track them done.
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Sasha said...

((hugs)) on the writign front. I'm the same. Nothign feels right.

Maybe I'll take a day and read too. Recharge!

Thansk for the recommendation.

McVane said...

I'm a huge Susanna Kearsley fan, so I'm thrilled that you liked Mariana. Do read The Shadowy Horses.

Michelle said...

Hang in there with the writing. Let your subconscious work out the problems. In the meantime, glad you found such a great book!

MaryF said...

The Shadowy Horses was my favorite, too. Must get Mariana!

Anonymous said...

I think you looked inside my soul and read my mind...I feel the same way about my writing too (not good with nationals in a little over a month!)

Thanks for the review...will have to check this out!


Jordan Summers said...

Hang in there with the writing. It always goes in fits and starts.

Jill said...

Sending good writing vibes. Do me a favor and send them back when you're done with them.

Jaye said...

Sasha, Christyne -- seems a lot of us are feeling the same way about our writing.

Maili, MaryF -- I ordered The Shadowy Horses and something with 'Dragon' in the title from the library, I can't wait to get my hands on them. If I love them as much as Marianna, I'll buy them.

Michelle, Jordan, Julie -- thanks for the encouragement. (I'll send those vibes your way as soon as I find them Julie.)

Linda Winfree said...

I'm in! My browser has decided to cooperate.

I know how you feel on the frustration front. And we're doing a brainstormin' and bitchin' retreat if you want to join us this weekend -- send a blank email to (Open invitation!)

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