Sunday, 11 January 2009

Zermatt and FAR AFTER GOLD

Good snow, good weather, (it only snowed at night!) beautiful food, everything worked according to plan. Hotel better than ever - this was fourth visit. Transit Newcastle to Zermatt accomplished without a hitch, though having to wait an hour for our baggage at Newcastle airport on the return journey kind of spoilt the run of perfection. Ah....superb holiday, now over.

Because we were skiing at between 8 and 10 thousand feet, some days higher than that, I am now a good deal fitter than when I went. The human body, and the way it adapts, is truly amazing. Now I must keep up the good work - and of course the English weather is not appealing - horribly windy, damp and grey. Makes me want to sit at home with a good book.

Returned home to another review for Far After Gold:
"This is a heart-warming romance set in the Hebrides at a time when the ancient Norse religion was being eclipsed by Christianity. Two sets of values, sometimes similar, often contradictory, fight to win men's hearts and minds, much as the hero and heroine struggle towards mutual understanding in the course of the novel.

Jen Black is a writer to watch. Her turn of phrase can be most evocative, and she uses it to best advantage to create a strong sense of place. This is not a romance set in a blank nowhere where the characters are forced to act out their dramas on a stage bare of everything save the most basic of props. In Far After Gold the setting is lovingly described and it lends richness and texture to Emer and Flane's story. There is the odd minor stumble with anachronism, where the choice of vocabulary might be more rigorous, but word choice is a very personal matter and this in no way impedes the flow of the story.

Jen Black knows how to use drama to help with narrative drive, and the conflict between the hero and heroine is kept clear at all times. Towards the end of the book however, there is a sense that the novel might gain more depth if the two main characters and the conflict between them was further evolved. "

So far so good. The last sentence and the next paragraph show me where I might have done better, and I am grateful to Carol Townend for sharing her thoughts on this. I have learned a great deal since I wrote FAG and I'm still learning. Carol goes on to say "Emer's thought processes become a little repetitious; and it would add yet another layer to learn more about Flane's motivations and the way his relationship with Emer highlights his inner conflicts and increases his self-knowledge." I can see exactly what she means, and I agree. I only wish I'd seen it at the time of writing!
She concludes: "Far After Gold is an evocative novel, the characters are appealing and they develop convincingly during the course of the story. I enjoyed very much."

Needless to say I am very pleased!

1 comment:

Linda Banche said...

Nice review. I like that she likes your descriptions. Too many stories nowadays are so-called "costume dramas"--they can be set in any period, including the present. Your Far After Gold could only occur in Viking times. And more nice pictures.