Monthly Archives: June 2011

Please allow me a tiny bit of bragging…

I’ve been kicking around the addictive world of Authonomy for a couple of months now, and my book is currently hovering at number 101. People seem to like it, even guys, and here’s an eloquent, thoughtful and positive comment I got today, from someone whose book is highly ranked, and deservedly so.

Pretty chuffed!

What initially attracted me to this was the languages aspect, and the teaching thereof. Being a language teacher myself and an avid learner, I have a soft spot for any book that deals with foreign tongues. Inevitable certainly doesn’t disappoint on that front. Not only is there an entertaining representation of the language learning process but there is also an exploration of that sometimes strangely intimate relationship that develops between teacher and student during one to one lessons, where the teacher veers unexpectedly into the waters of friend and psychologist. It’s an idea I’ve often thought about exploring in a novel myself so it’s both interesting and satisfying to see it so well realized here with Kate and Brad.

That being said, this is not something I would necessarily read were I to find it in a book shop, the chick lit tag marking it as something outside of my usual comfort zone. That I enjoyed reading this as much as I did then speaks to the quality of the writing and the story. This is very ambitious storytelling, moving as it does from past to future, from relative obscurity in Belgium to the corridors of power in Washington. From the pitch, I might have thought this too ambitious but any such fears are quickly allayed by the very authentic feel that the future political aspect has. The relationships between Kate the politician and her aides feels well researched yet natural and her recounting of her political career is incredibly interesting. And I very much enjoyed the idea of looking back from the future to the present. It gives an interesting slant to the POV. Given that The West Wing features in the story I had to wonder whether another US TV show, How I met Your Mother, was at all an influence in this particular regard.

What else? This very up-to-date in a way that I can’t remember many other books feeling. Ipods, The West Wing, Obama etc. This definitely struck me as a keen use of observation. It may not seem a particularly remarkable achievement at first but I’m often irritated by TV shows and books that seem to ignore the contemporary world to suit their storylines, e.g., a set of characters tries desperately to get hold of another character but not a one of them has a mobile phone for some reason. So the contemporary observations were something I enjoyed. My only slight worry for the book as a whole, however, stems from the same issue. Will setting a lot of it so much in the here and now, with contemporary references, make it date quicker than most books? I hope not and it’s certainly not a major fear since so much of the story takes place in the future. This is more just me thinking aloud and nitpicking at something since there seems nothing else for me to crit.
Hmm, so not much useful in this here comment I imagine. If this is chick-lit then the sometimes snidey pronunciation utilized when invoking the genre should be removed for Inevitable is a very classy, innovative and mature piece of work.