Hello, It’s nice to be back to WordPress. It has been a while!
Since then I’ve finished my second Creative Writing module with The Open University and now I’m on to my final module of the Open Hons Degree – ‘Why is Religion Controversial’. It’s engrossing and fascinating but very heavy and sucking my small tank of spare time dry! The first section of the course is about controversial figures in religion. I’ve been reading about Regina Jonas, the first female rabbi to be ordained, in Berlin 1936. It’s an extraordinary tale of a woman who defied tradition and was ordained. What’s even more interesting about her story is that it was buried without trace until the 1980s, when female historians and rabbis began to investigate and speak about her again.
If you fancy reading more, check this link out https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/jonas-regina
Writing-wise, I am close to finishing the first draft of my novella…and when I say close I mean about 30,000 words away. I haven’t written a word on that project since August though. I am working away to make a space for it in December.
Last weekend I attended a writer’s retreat, part of the Literature Festival of Bristol and enjoyed talks from industry professionals, and writers Gareth Powell, Alice jolly & Amy Morse from Learn to Love Your Words. It was a very inspiring and informative day.
I’ve also submitted stories for two anthologies and await further instruction!
And that’s it! Just a little hello and how are ya. Looking forward to catching up on all the reading here!
Set in 1948, both Hortense and Gilbert’s desire for living the dream in the ‘mother Country’ land them together in their struggle to make their way in a new World. This World is not the one they thought it was and it takes time to make sense of it all. Their lives intertwine with an English couple who are also stumbling blindly through the war and the aftermath, reassessing their own moral compasses
This is, quite frankly, the best novel I’ve read in some time. Insightful and full of revelations, Levy teaches us a lessons in misconceptions of identity. Along with learning some valuable British and Jamaican history, I rejoiced in such well written characters and was immersed in the evoking plot from start to finish.
Structurally, the novel was not ordered in a traditional way. Each chapter represented the perspective of one character. They were not divided equally nor in chronological order. No, they were strategically ordered in a way to reveal each characters past and how it effected their present circumstances.
I miss this book and would love to read about these characters further on in their lives.
An old murder case is dug up despite nobody wanting to relive it. Alison goes back to her old hometown with a longing for the truth. A guilt ridden detective, and old friend with secrets and lots of locals intertwined in this mysterious past. Thirteen years previously, Esme’s family was gruesomely murdered while she hid in her attic room in the crooked house. The story dealt with her memories and the piecing together of what really happened. It was haunting, tense and atmospheric from the start. Suspense hung at every corner, and the reader was left hanging throughout with new potential suspects. From page 210 I began to get frustrated with the number of characters still involved in the main plot. The three brothers, old friends, the locals from the pub, friends back in London, and that didn’t even include her boyfriend Paul or the family of the wedding Alison was attending. I think the plot should have been narrower at this stage. While Paul was involved in dark and suspect scenes and dialogue, my favourite character was Morgan. Despite being in the background she played a huge role in the story. There was always a desire to know more about her. The main characters were all believable and highly visual. The flashbacks and dreams were written well. The reader was brought back in time and forward with ease and the story emerged in this fractured style of writing. I would recommend this book to those who like to read crime and mystery. There are lots of hooks and intertwining subplots to keep the readers interest. I found the first half much more gripping. However, for me, over halfway through the book I found myself rushing through to get to the finish. I needed more suspense and less characters involved at that stage.
And what a perfect day for Ireland’s Repeal the 8th campaign to take to the streets wearing black in protest of how Irish women are treated in their own Country. This is a simple overview of what’s going on and why.
The Irish Women’s Council among others are wearing black today and marching on the streets of Dublin in protest.
‘The Coalition to Repeal the Eighth Amendment is a growing alliance of over 80 organisations including human rights, feminist and pro-choice organisations, trade unions, health organizations, NGOs, community organisations and many others.’
So what is the problem here? What’s all the fuss and what do these people want?
All abortion is banned in Ireland unless a doctor deems the woman’s life is at risk. Apart from the obvious choice, control, dis-empowering, disabling issues here, with not allowing women to make their own choices regarding their own bodies, women die at the hands of doctors who are biased or are simply against abortion.
Remember ‘you’re in Catholic Ireland now’?
Despite promises of a referendum nothing has happened. The Eighth Amendment is an archaic display of matriarchy and church rule. It is no more than deeply discriminatory and a ‘national shame for Ireland’
‘The presence of the Eighth Amendment in the Irish Constitution is a source of discrimination against all women living in Ireland. It creates a discriminatory health system where a pregnant woman only has a qualified right to health care. International human rights organisations have repeatedly taken the state to task for its draconian abortion regime, observing that it violates women’s right to bodily integrity and self-determination’
It violates International Human Rights
and Women’s Right standards.
Every day TEN Irish females leave their Country to have a termination. That’s THREE THOUSAND & SIX HUNDRED women, in a population of 4.5 million who travel abroad (mostly to the UK) to have terminations.
Women and girls who cannot travel, cannot have a termination and are therefore discriminated against.
It does not reflect the opinion of the Irish public.
It was a charming period tale with engaging characters. I mostly enjoyed the read but felt myself rushing through some chapters to get back to the main character’s story. Overall, the plot didn’t conclude well for me and I found movement between scenes and chapters a bit ‘clunky’.
I read in another review that it needed more editing and I tend to agree. This novel had huge potential but needed some polishing to grip the reader more.