As an author, reading a book review of your novel that convinces you that the reviewer has a genuine, clear-eyed understanding of the story is a truly priceless thing. To me, it's a bit like what I suspect a stand-up comedian feels onstage when he knows the audience is with him. The crowd in the smoky club may not love every single joke, but they laugh at all the right spots, glance knowingly at their companions when a punchline strikes a familiar chord and, after the show is over, they stroll home, taking with them a few stories that leave them chuckling with their friends later.
Well, I'm no stand-up comic, but twice now I've been given the gift of delightful and insightful book reviews on Austenprose. Laurel Ann's review of ACCORDING TO JANE still makes me feel all the warmth and giddiness I'd experienced when reading her words for the first time in the fall of 2009. And, today, Shelley DeWees (from The Uprising) has up her thoughtful review of FRIDAY MORNINGS AT NINE, which opens with this LOL line:
"Welcome to the world of Friday Mornings at Nine, the most cunningly disguised self-help book on planet Earth." Shelley later writes: "But with each page turn, with each brief glimpse into the lives of these lonely females, I found myself more and more captivated by their predicaments. Each marital problem is different than the others but still circles around the same key issue: the lack of solid a relationship with the self. Marilyn Brant, author of According to Jane, spins an engaging story around the concept Polonius described so simply, 'To thine own self, be true.'"
Thanks, Shelley. My wonderful college writing professor, Dr. Raymond Schoen, with his pipe in hand, is grinning hugely from his perch in the heavens today. That was one of his favorite Shakespearean quotes, and it was a sentiment he reminded me of rather insistently one day after class when I was 19. ;)
In other good news, the lovely Debbie Haupt of The Reading Frenzy invited me to be a guest author on Barnes & Noble online this month since Friday Mornings at Nine was selected as the B&N General Fiction Book Club novel for March! Anyone who wants to join in the discussion is most welcome. I'll be popping in as often as I can throughout the month to answer questions related to the book and/or to just chat about writing and life. Really looking forward to it.
Back tomorrow with the winner of the t-shirt/TMD CD and, also, Edie Ramer's new release, Dragon Blues!