Middle-aged siblings, Marion and John Zetland, rattle around the crumbling Georgian townhouse that has been their home since childhood. Timid and childlike, Marion has never had a job, and her more educated brother hasn’t worked since being dismissed from his teaching post at a boarding school twenty years before. She spends her time with her large collection of cuddly toys, dozing in front of the TV and heating the tinned food on which they subsist. John occupies himself with making model aeroplanes and attending to the visitors in the cellar, an unpleasant part of life which Marion does her best to ignore. Who is she to judge whether it’s right or not? John has always known better than her and, as the reader discovers as the story unfolds, her parents, teachers and schoolmates were never any help in teaching her how to be a person.
Happy publication day to me! I must admit it doesn’t feel the huge leap it did the first time round, but I’m still excited, albeit not breathlessly so. There’s a quieter satisfaction in having more than one of my own novels on the shelf, making the transition from writer to author to novelist. This post is to thank those who’ve helped me on my way. While writing is a solitary activity, no writer is an island. Our achievements arise through hard work, good luck and not a little help from our friends.
Every novel is comprised of different parts that writers, readers and reviewers hope will combine into a satisfying whole. My last two reviews of 2016 – before I reveal my favourites of the year – are of novels for which finding that coherence is a particular challenge, but extremely worthwhile if achieved. Both published this summer, neither seems to have attracted many reviews on Goodreads, but I’m impressed with both (albeit one more than the other) so I hope you’ll at least give my reviews a chance.
Annecdotal is where real life brushes up against the fictional.
Annecdotist is the blogging persona of Anne Goodwin:
slug-slayer, tramper of moors,
author of two novels.
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