Saturday, January 23, 2016

Unhappy Endings

Many pundits and professionals caution writers to avoid writing novels that don't have a happy ending. Readers will be disappointed, they say. Probably especially so if the author leads them to believe all will end well -- the Fairy Tale ending.

I recently read "The Light Between Oceans" by M.L. Stedman which many may judge to have an unhappy ending. But, the ending is reality...the hero and heroine suffer, undone by what they thought the right thing to do years earlier, which came back to haunt them and alter their lives forever. Stedman sowed the seed for the ending; yet, it still came as a surprise. It was a well-written novel that I encourage all to read.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

The Joy of Audio Tapes

In December we drove to San Francisco to visit our youngest daughter....two weeks on the road. As usual, we checked out a half-dozen audio tapes from the local library and as usual we listened to half of those. Either the topic was too dull or boring, or too much repetition in telling the story. We found two stories compelling:  "Ford County" by John Grisham and "The Apple Orchard" by Susan Wiggs. Their tales helped pass the time as we enjoyed driving through the vastness of the American Southwest. Wiggs story was particularly interesting as it addressed the often under-reported occupation of Denmark by the Nazis during WWII, and the underground resistance war efforts. Grisham is a master storyteller. His recollections of Mississippi are entertaining and educational. Both were fine, fine presentations.