Tag Archives: plot

Writing Under the Influence

I’ve blogged about Jane before, and I’m doing it again. Jane Eyre, that is.  I’ve been thinking about her because I’ve just finished The Flight of Gemma Hardy, Margot Livesey’s take on  Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel.  (Livesey herself calls it a “continued conversation.”) Beginning with the first sentence, Livesey sprinkles similarities to the original throughout her novel, weaving in her own autobiographical details.  In both, we have an orphaned girl, a cruel aunt, a book on birds, a mysterious landowner, a sickly boarding school friend who dies in Jane’s/Gemma’s arms, etc.  In Brontë, of course, what comes between Jane & … Continue reading

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Mystery Surprise

I’ve never much liked mystery novels.  I get either helplessly confused by the third chapter (Smiley’s People) or impatient that no one else figured out early on that of course the wife did it (Presumed Innocent). In fourth and fifth grade, I collected Nancy Drews, mostly to try to understand the intriguing world of teenagers, for which Nancy’s life, with her little blue roadster and her boyfriend named Ned, did little to prepare me. Tattered-jacketed copies of The Key to Rebecca and The Russia House sit on my bookshelf, as do biographies of the Romanovs and Winston Churchill.  Books I’ll … Continue reading

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