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Sunday, 29 March 2015

Book Review: Man of Clay





Book Blurb:

Connie lives in a modern day harem with her ex, two wives, and their five children. It's a 'sensible arrangement that cracks when a new woman arrives on the scene. Is this one wife too many? Connie struggles with the realization she must finally let her husband go. As she builds her last collection of ceramics, Connie reflects on longing, serial monogamy and his career as a herpetologist. Humans have much in common with frogs. Metamorphosis parallels the reactions of mud and glaze in a kiln, Man of Clay is about family, frogs, and art. The kiln fires hotter than the crematorium.

Book Review:


Man of Clay is a women’s fiction written by Victoria Osborne. Connie Baldwin, a sculptor leads a complex life. She has never stopped loving Jude, her ex-husband whom she divorced out of guilt when she could not give him another child. Connie plays matchmaker, Jude and her friend Zita marries and has children. Jude eventually divorces Zita, marries Simone and starts another family. Connie convinces Jude that he and “the wives and kids” should all live in her apartment building as one happy family. This arrangement seems to work until Jude admits his involvement with another woman, and Zita plans on marrying again. Connie’s well-structured life suddenly unhinges and she finds herself battling to keep her “wives harem” together with Jude as the primary male in their lives.

“You can’t have your cake and eat it too, or can you?” Reading Man of Clay made me realize that this quote does not apply to Connie who narrates so emotionally about the changes in her life. The characters try to maintain stability in their unusual living arrangement but insist on doing things out of the ordinary. I think Connie is overly protective, yet slightly jealous as she strives to create the perfect family while still yearning for Jude. Jude is a womanizer who tends to” go with the flow” and let the wives make most decisions. The story has a mature writing structure that is more suitable for older adults, and it moves at a slower pace that seems appropriate for a setting that reflects the 1960’s onwards.

The characters have strong personas, which are different from each other, so that made the drama absorbing. There are numerous interesting comparisons throughout the book about the similarities of humans and frogs, as Connie refers to some amphibians that are associated with fertility. The cover illustration is lovely. This is Victoria Osborne’s first novel and she has managed to produce a nicely written, very original thought-provoking story.


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Here are links to Victoria Osborne's book:

Amazon  : Man of Clay

GoodreadsMan of Clay

Facebook: Victoria Osborne


Please, feel free to comment.



Saturday, 21 March 2015

the stork (senryu)




beloved courier

delivers special orders

diapers full of fun







Images courtesy of wikimediacommons.org

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Saturday, 14 March 2015

a frog's fairy tale (haiku)


the frog fairy



wet and warty skin

lonely female entice mates

no croaking beauty



I wrote this haiku sometime ago for a contest that had a frog based theme.
Thank you MKFlood @ community.art-is-fun.com (the Art Colony) for allowing me to use your lovely artwork once more!

Please, feel free to comment.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Book Review: Clive the Clever Crow



Review:

Clive the Clever Crow is a story for small children written by Sandra Novello. Someone has been eating the children's lunches at school and they want to know whom the culprit is. They do not know that the lunch snatcher is Clive the Clever Crow, often seen on a fence or in a tree in the schoolyard. Clive seems to be proud of what he does and brags about it in a letter he wrote to the kids. He lets them know how easy it is to take their lunches because they often leave their bags open, and he cannot resist the yummy foods in them. Clive is happy that he longer has to dig for worms, or go searching for snails or ants. The thing he dislikes though is the magic web that wraps the food because it tangles his feet. He tells the children they will never catch him because he is Clive the Clever Crow.


I am certain that Clive the Clever Crow will have to start digging for worms again, once the children read his letter. They will remember to keep their bags closed or their lunches will disappear. Sandra Novello has written a pleasant tale with a fun rhyming form. The book is also educational because it teaches kids about the foods birds like to eat, and what plastic wrapping (magic web) can do to their feet. The brightly coloured illustrations complement the story. This very short book by Sandra Novello will be a favourite both in schools and in homes.



Here are the links to the sites where the books are listed.




Goodreads:   Clive the Clever Crow



Please feel free to comment.


Monday, 2 March 2015

Mama Cried





Book Blurb: 

Jenny was enjoying herself on the swings when Azula, one of the guardians of the playground came to take her away. Together they journey to a cinder building where Jenny must make an important decision.

Review:

In Mama Cried by Talia Haven, a young girl named Jenny was murdered, but she is still not entirely aware of this fact. While playing on the swings with other children, her guardian Azula returns to take her to a prison where she is to make a big decision. Jenny's puppies, Morgan and Wilson follow them. Theodore, Jenny's murderer, is the only person in the prison who can see her, and the pets who have suddenly grown into large hounds. He is about to be executed and is read his last rites, confident that God has forgiven him for his heinous crime. Jenny sees her grieving mother Vivian holding a picture of her and remembers the reason for her mother's tears. Azula gently reminds Jenny that it is time to decide if she will grant Theodore mercy or punish him, but she is hesitant about doing so until Theodore decides to say a few last words to Vivian.

Reading Mama Cried kept me deep in thought. Talia Haven has produced a short story that leans on the dark side, based on its content. She leaves readers with sufficient intrigue in a plot that sees its main character Jenny narrating, as she probes the past in order to understand her present situation. Talia Haven does not dawdle in her writing, so she manages to create an intensely emotional story. A few angles to the plot are worth debating. I do think, however, that the blurb does not have sufficient information because it gives the impression that this book is for young readers. This unique tale contains about nine pages and is suitable for adults. Nonetheless, the author writes nicely and expressively, and it's a story worth reading.




The book can be found on the following sites:




Amazon: Mama Cried



Goodreads:  Mama Cried

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