Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Thorn review, alien birds and preparing for holidays

Woke up to a gloriously kind review of Thorn in the Flesh today from the utterly lovely Sarah Watts on the Writewords site, which I include below:

“I’ve been meaning to write a review of Thorn in the Flesh for some time. It’s taken a while partly because I haven’t known quite what to say. It’s like a discovery you look forward to sharing with someone special - but you don’t want to tell them too much and spoil the surprise. Surprising it certainly is. Having read three of Anne’s novels now one might expect to see a certain pattern emerging – qualities in the writing that makes you think – ah yes, this is typical; this is similar to what she did before. Many of us are happy to read our favourite authors confident that they will deliver more of the same ingredients that worked so well before. No – think again. Each of Anne’s books is gloriously individual – each builds on the strength of what has gone before to deliver something new – a fresh experience for the reader. When I read Thorn in the Flesh I literally could not put it down. Anne delivers a compelling story that keeps you turning the pages. I found her strong central character Kate entirely believable. She is depicted with searing honesty and the character is fearless in her refusal to compromise – to conform to expectation. I imagine that because of this Kate is a character the reader will love – or love to hate. Here is a woman who is attacked in the sanctuary of her own home – whose certainties and securities are torn away – what happens next? Where does she go from here? Thorn in the Flesh is not a comfortable read, it provides no cosy solutions and ultimately it gives no easy answers. It gets under the skin of the reader and causes you to look into the void – to imagine the unimaginable. It is to the credit of the author that the character’s journey is so believable. To me there is truth in the story and integrity in the writing. The story taps into the resonance of ancient myth delivered with the pace and assurance of a modern thriller. Read and enjoy.”

Gosh, thanks hugely, Sarah – that’s really made my day! I particularly liked the phrase “taps into the resonance of ancient myth delivered with the pace and assurance of a modern thriller”. I think I might put that on my Christmas cards this year. And Lord H also says that it’s a strapline that could well be used for Student Care Services here at the University. Heck, he might well be right … Your degree? A mix of ancient myth and modern thriller - you know you want one: we’ll make sure you get one … Cue evil laughter.

This morning, I finally (finally!) have managed, with IT’s help, to get my printers working. So I have indulged in a veritable orgy of printing – gosh, that’s another phrase I’ll use again, I’m sure. And I’m finishing off my minutes of yesterday and generally getting organised before next week’s holiday – as today is my last day in the office before then. Hurrah!

Oh, and there was a wonderful article in this month’s Birds Magazine which raised concerns about the falling numbers of UFO/Alien sightings and asked whether this might be due to the environmental damage we’re causing to the earth. This was of particular interest to birders as crop circles make very good nesting sites and there should be more of them. Fabulous. Good to see that Birds Mag remains, as ever, on the cutting edge of science.

I managed a walk round campus at lunchtime – I’m making the most of the glorious sunshine here as at the moment Portugal is a rain-drenched land. Sigh. And tonight, I’ll pop into see Gladys on the way home. Am also planning to do a few more sentences to Hallsfoot’s Battle, as I have some ideas in my head about where Johan is going which I’d like to get down.

Today’s nice things:

1. The Thorn review
2. Lunchtime sunshine
3. Writing.

Anne Brooke
Anne's website
Goldenford Publishers

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