Archive for the ‘bad marriages’ Tag

An Indie Read   3 comments

summoning

Writers who pay to have their books published often go through the wringer when it comes to perceptions. Such efforts were once identified as vanity-pressed or self-published. Now the preferred term is indie, or independent, publishing. Some indies are poorly constructed, rife with grammatical errors and simply uninteresting; yet many are well-written including Summoning the Strength by Stephanie Briggs. She  manages to avoid those most frequent missteps. In fact, she’s really only guilty of not calling on her own strengths, which are plentiful, when it comes to writing.

At 169 pages, Briggs’s novel is all-too brief to accommodate the numerous characters. The account follows Katherine, a small-town girl who endures a disastrous marriage to a wealthy man. She’s interesting and has an especially strong relationship with her mother, which unfortunately, just withers.

Katherine’s unhappiness is tangible because Briggs tells the story in retrospect. However, the explanation for the discontent is one-dimensional. The husband’s a jerk and Katherine’s an intelligent woman too blind to see the obvious.

One problem is the large number of long-lasting friendships Katherine has from her childhood and college days. It’s clear the author appreciates the importance of women’s friendships. However, here’s an instance when having more isn’t necessarily a good thing.

Briggs’s prose is engaging and descriptive, but she could have easily created fuller (and fewer) characters for a richer story. I’ve come to enjoy Briggs’s writing through her blog, Honie Briggs. It’s smart, humorous and meaningful. I suspect her next book will be, too.

Summoning the Strength
Three bookmarks
Briggs& Briggs, 2011
169 pages