All tagged Women's Fiction

Love Overdue by Pamela Morsi: Unevenness Defined

“D.J. considered herself some kind of an expert in compartmentalizing. It was undoubtedly a genetic trait. She’d shown early talent in boxing up every aspect of her life, careful never to taint any experience with another. Everything about life, the precious, the bitter, the uncertain, could be perfectly managed and excellently controlled if it was kept securely on its own.”

I read this one because another book by Morsi, The Lovesick Cure, was highly recommended to me, and was analyzed in-depth on Romance Novels for Feminists. So, of course, instead of reading that book, I read this random Morsi novel, Love Overdue, with one of those can't-resist-cute covers.

Yes, I am a sucker for those covers with the feet--don't judge me too harshly. 

While there were a number of elements that worked for me, particularly Morsi's writing--which is fast-paced and flows nicely, Love Overdue exemplifies the mixed bag, uneven novel, which are some of the hardest to write about. 

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Review: Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler

Z is not a book for everyone.

It is a novel based on research about Zelda Fitzgerald and her life and relationship with her husband, novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Fowler states at the end of her work that it is,

Fiction based on real people [which] differs from nonfiction in that the emphasis is not on factual minutiae, but rather on the emotional journey of the characters. I've tried to create the most plausible story possible, based upon all the evidence at hand.

The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald's famous novel depicting the obsessive Jay Gatsby and his love for Daisy, is a novel I've always loved. The writing flows like a poem swirling with color, description, romance and tragedy. I do not read it as a love story, rather it’s about illusion. Illusory dreams without a touch of reality based in Gatsby’s head much as Zelda’s life with F. Scott.

Fowler’s account of Zelda’s life brought a new perspective to ponder. 

Review: The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier

...she held out a hand toward Honor. A small, ambiguous gesture, it still had the power to untwist Honor's stomach, for it said: I am running away. Help me. She and the woman were now linked by that gesture.

In Tracy Chevalier's The Last Runaway, Honor Bright, a fresh new arrival and Quaker from England, stepped upon America's shores carrying within her an idealism bred from years of an upbringing that taught her that,

“...everyone has a measure of Light in them and though the amount can vary, all must try to live up to their measure.”

Honor feels feels bound by her morality and what she believes are universal truths to take a stand, which ultimately requires she follow her heart. Her heart would lead her to take a road less taken, to defy her husband's wishes and the law of her newly-adopted country.

Robert Frost put into words the dilemma that played upon Honor's sense of right. She looked upon the horrors of slavery that opened before her and knew she must choose. Two roads lie before her and one she must trod upon.

Honor's first less travelled road was prompted by her decision to accompany her sister to America where her sister planned to marry and settle in Ohio with her betrothed and settling into life as a farmer's wife. This road for Honor began as a roiling and wretched seasickness lasting the entire trip across the grey sea. The experience left a  horrible memory for Honor. She determined sea travel was not an adventure she would elect to again experience, so staying in America was to be her fate.

Upon arriving in their new county, Honor's sister succumbs to illness and dies before seeing the man she intended to marry. Honor continues the trip to Ohio alone where she temporarily stays with her sister's intended spouse.

In England, morality was familiar and ordered, righteousness a way of life--in America, the lines blurred.

Charlotte Rogan’s much-hyped debut, The Lifeboat, is one of my biggest reading disappointments of the year. 

And I feel like a complete jackass for saying that. Rogan has a wonderful story of writing for years and years before The Lifeboat was published and in a publishing climate where precocious twenty-somethings are getting all sorts of attention, it’s wonderful to see someone’s dream of being a published novelist become a reality after years of work on her craft.

However, with its singular focus on Big Questions About Morality, I was left wanting more of everything: plot, character development, tension.