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text 2017-10-22 20:57
Reading progress update: I've read 56 out of 530 pages.
The Forgotten Garden - Kate Morton

This third person omniscient point of view distances me as the reader from the story.



I don't mind so much when it's a plot- or action-driven story.  But this is character-driven, and I'm just finding it so difficult to bond with these characters.  I want to bond with them.  I'm curious about them and about what's going on.  I feel as if Morton keeps pushing me away.


Years ago I read Eileen Goudge's Garden of Lies and I ended up coming very close to literally throwing the book against the wall at the end.  What a sucky ending!  I see now that there was a sequel, but I hated Garden of Lies so much that I never bothered to notice a sequel.  From what I've read about it, the second book was maybe just as bad.


Maybe my fear of encountering a similar "and some of them lived and some of them died, but the ones who lived didn't necessarily live happily ever after even if they deserved to" ending is holding me back and making me see picky details in The Forgotten Garden.  All I know is that if I'm stopping to post updates after only ten or so pages, the book isn't holding my attention.

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text 2017-10-22 19:02
40,565 to start the day

Not what I'd call terrific production, but it was a day with other accomplishments.  So I'm not complaining.

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text 2017-10-22 18:51
Reading progress update: I've read 50 out of 530 pages.
The Forgotten Garden - Kate Morton

As I wrote just a little while ago, I'm feeling uncomfortable with the flashbacks.  Being confronted with another, I now know why.


And since I'm only 50 (electronic) pages in, I'm not going to consider this a spoiler as such.


After the girl on the ship and the birthday party and the funeral, Morton jumps back to Cassandra's childhood.  That's where I was when I wrote that I wasn't feeling good about this.  Now, just a few pages later, the next chapter swings back again.


I had gotten in touch with the character of Cassandra.  I wanted to know what happened next, how her relationship with Nell developed.  I wanted a "this happened and then this happened and then this happened" sequence, moving forward with tension and interest building.


Instead, I feel as if Morton has said, "Aha!  I got you intrigued but now I'm going to play mind games with you.  Don't get too attached to that character because it's not her story as much as it's my story and I'm going to mess with you, manipulate you, control you."


It's that business of the writer pulling the reader into the story and making them believe they're sitting right there on the stage, all invisible, while the action goes on around them.  The reader is right there and sees and feels and smells and hears everything the same as the characters do.


Maybe this is a personal thing with me. Maybe I'm too empathetic, a fault of which I've been accused more than once.

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text 2017-10-22 18:19
Reading progress update: I've read 42 out of 530 pages.
The Forgotten Garden - Kate Morton

The writing is great, but I'm not sure I'm comfortable with all the flashbacks.


I have some more thoughts on that but will hold off until I've read more.

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review 2017-10-21 05:56
Seeing is believing, I guess
Ghost Hunting Diary Volume I - TM Simmons

Disclosure:  I obtained the Kindle edition of this book when it was offered free on Amazon.  I knew the author, Trana Mae ("TM") Simmons, twenty-odd years ago when we were members of Romance Writers of America.  We attended several conferences together, at which we socialized.  I have had no contact with her for at least 15 years, and never knew anything about her paranormal adventures.  This is actually the first of her writing I've ever read.


Do I personally believe in ghosts?  Well, I don't completely disbelieve.  And I haven't even told you the story of the 7-Up bottle that floated through the air in front of me.


That being said, I went into the reading of this with a healthy dose of skepticism, and I emerged with that skepticism intact.  TM and her crew of ghost-hunters seem to have remarkably good luck finding ghosts and sending them on their way through The Light so they don't haunt any more.  The few techniques she reveals for her "cleansing" of haunted places are an odd mixture of neo-paganism and traditional Christian rites involving sea salt and olive oil and burning sage.  Nothing unusual, nothing spectacular.


Could have used a bit more proofreading and even a little bit of editing, but it wasn't too terrible.


An easy read and diverting, and only mildly creepy.  ;-)





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