Thursday, December 8, 2011

Not fair

I was not fair about Keven Newsome's book, Winter. He did so many things right in the book: he captured the black hole egotism of most teenagers: ie. Winter yells, "I hate you!" at her mother dying of cancer because Winter will need to move to another town. She is so sensitive to what other people think of her and she pretends like she doesn't care. She is super critical of how her roommate dresses, and throws an inner hissy fit when someone criticizes how she dresses. She is so LONELY, and yet whoever tries to get close to her is treated like crap. I believe most teen girls would identify with her far more than they would be able to identify with somebody like me.
And.... it is not a romance!!! Which is a Good Thing. To me.
Please, I know that falling in love is the most fun you will ever have in your life and I love to see people in love. I've had the good pleasure of falling in love. This summer we will celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. Best Beloved is so excited about it that the calendar he hands to everybody for a Christmas present features our wedding, which was held under a tree in Lake Sacajawea park, and the reception at his mother's house. I received twelve casserole dishes and two ironing board covers. One friend sang, and another played the guitar. There Is Love by Peter, Paul, and Mary. I sewed my wedding gown because we had to pay for our wedding at ages 19 and 20. We honeymooned along the CA and OR coast, sleeping in my dad's Volkswagen Van. And then we moved into other peoples' basements as we continued on in college.
But romances..... bleh. Lorraine Snelling once said at a writer's conference that she chooses to believe that people can find love. Well, yeah. But when men write about women giving them everything they want, it's called pornography. When women write about men giving them everything they want it's called.... romance? I suppose if we read each others' literature we would have a better idea about what to give each other.
OK, now that I have insulted 90% of all Americans, you are free to tell me that you hate my literature as escapist drivel. I like hard science-fiction and high fantasy. When my brain is tired I read space-opera and sword-and-sorcery. I also like to read Bible, true history (not so much alternate), science, sociology, culture, gardening, etc., but few people are going to cavil about that.
Actually, the second book in the Trilogy, Circumnavigation of Shatterworld, might be a romance. That wasn't how I was thinking about it. I was thinking about the question: What does love look like? And there are so many kinds of love. So maybe I'm a hypocrite here. And I have read a few romances that I enjoyed.
But when I think about the girls I knew in high school who loved, loved, loved romances, who married the first person who asked them, all I saw were disasters. That colors my thinking.


  1. Hi Lelia! I found your reviews via Phyllis's review. Reading them was quite enjoyable actually, and I want you to know I bear no ill will toward the criticism. I truly respect your generation of writer, and I think 40 years of marriage is an awesome thing! I wanted to tell you that you really hit on some of the underbelly of Winter that most people don't see. Yeah, she's an ugly character and I'm quite surprised so many people "like" her as much as they claim. I'm doing a four book series with this. She's going to change...A LOT. But this first book was really about how God can take the most unusable person, and then use them.

    Thanks so much for your review! I'll add the links to my site.

  2. When I first saw your name, I thought, Uh-oh! Duck! Thank you for your graciousness.