Friday, May 4, 2007

The Defrosting of Charlotte Small, by Annabel Giles

Posted by lea at 3:01 PM
This is an example of the sort of crap that the chick lit genre has spawned. It’s one of those manuscripts that should’ve stayed in someone’s drawer gathering dust but somehow got published by a mysterious and terrible mistake. I could see what the author was trying to do: show how a strong but egocentric single mother breaks down only to find her salvation on the other side: resolving her feelings about her ex-husband, finding new friends and learning to love her daughter unselfishly. But by God it was painful to read!!

One of the first rules of writing that I’ve learned is ‘show not tell’ – ie. instead of saying ‘she was a sexy woman who liked to seduce men’ you’d write, ‘her heaving cleavage spilled over the top of her siren-red dress, matching the pouting lips she pointed towards her current victim of choice’. And this is exactly what Annabel Giles failed to do. She TOLD us everything that was going through the protagonist’s head and going on in her life without showing us enough to actually connect with the story.

I hope for her sake that it was her first attempt at a novel and that she has since taken classes to improve her writing. But I, for one, would never pick up another book by her again. I only paid $8.95 for it, but that was good money down the drain as far as I’m concerned.

Rating: 1.5/10
The 1.5 is just for actually completing a full novel, which is a mean feat.


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