Tag Archives: friend

Murder on Mustique- Anne Glenconner- A Review

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I picked this one up when Barnes and Noble had their hardbacks 50 percent off. I liked the cover and the blurb sounded good. Of course, I’d heard of the island of Mustique and how it was made into a place for celebrities to build homes and find peace and quiet, so the idea of a murder mystery set there was intriguing.

As I started reading, I realized why the author’s name sounded familiar. She was the wife of the man who bought the island in real life and gifted Princess Margaret with the land to build her own escape home. The author started the story by having the fictional narrator explaining she was a former lady in waiting for the princess and that her husband bought the island in the 1950s. I don’t want to say this was a Mary Sue type story, but it skirted the edge—except the heroine was seventy years old rather than a young girl.

This was a novel, but there was a whole lot of truth in it—not the murder mystery part nor the person who committed the crime (I hope- LOL) but a lot of the history of the island and of the author herself.  I did enjoy the story—even the totally unrealistic parts. The author did a good job with the red herrings and the culprit, so I can forgive her for the use of herself—perhaps an idealized version—as the heroine of the story. It was kind of refreshing to have an older woman in good physical shape as a strong protagonist even though I couldn’t get it out of my head that she was a real person.

One of the parts of the book that resonated with me near the end was this comment by the heroine: “My own grief is harder to define. Why do I care so much about losing something that never really existed? The space left behind will fill, as time passes.”

That passage reminded me of when I finally realized that someone who I’d considered a friend was actually a malignant narcissist and then, for my own protection, I cut off contact with the person. I grieved over the loss of that relationship for a long time and almost got sucked back in again—until I came to that same realization. None of my memories of that person were based on real feelings on the part of my “friend” and our relationship never really existed. It was all an act on that “friend’s” part even though I invested myself in our friendship. 

It makes me wonder if this author also had a real life experience with such a narcissist. It sure seemed to me like that was one more of the truths she expressed in this fictional tale. Until you’ve actually been a victim of a malignant narcissist, it’s hard to understand just how awful they can be. Her passage above rang true. 

Overall, the book was good and I enjoyed the tale.

Dilemma

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It’s a dilemma when you read a book by someone you like and want to do a review for but there was actually more you didn’t like in the story than you did. I’ve recently had this experience again and I did leave the review but it’s very short and incomplete since i didn’t want to hurt this person’s feelings. Now, don’t get me wrong, I know that not all books will appeal to every person and I also know that there are probably some of my stories that people don’t like but I still don’t want to say things that would cause someone angst about their work.

This book I read had a great story premise but I didn’t like the heroine. She was one of those that did some really dumb things and seemed weak. I have a real hang-up about heroines like that. I actually think it’s because I’m strong myself and have zero patience for reading about someone who isn’t.

One of the other issues with the story, I blame on the editor. One of the big reasons for editors is for them to find repetitive words and/or phrases that the writer uses. I always, always have what I call a crutch word in each of my stories (and they are usually different for each one). I try to catch them myself but sometimes I don’t. This book I just read had a crutch phrase and it was used 25 times in a story that was less than 200 pages long. It started to feel like I was being bopped in the head with it. I even at one time said out loud, “Okay, I get it.”

So, what do you do if asked to do a review and there’s not much to say?

Someone I Admire

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MY DEAR FRIEND

Someone I admire is my friend, Margo. She has a lot on her plate but she seems to always pick herself up and keep moving past that stuff. She’s an inspiration because she never lets herself be held down too long. She’s an optimist and always believes things will get better- and they eventually do.

She’s a romantic and I love that about her. I tend to see the gritty reality too often and have a lot of cynicism and her belief in the absolute goodness of people is a trait I wish I had.