What a lovely surprise! I woke up this morning to discover that Goodreads moderator Brenda had posted the following review of my ninth title, ‘Michaela Betrayed’.
by Margaret Lynette Sharp (Goodreads Author)
Living in Sydney with her mother and father, Michaela found herself full of excitement when she won the scholarship to study music in London. Her Dad had been famous in his day, and she was happy to be able to follow in his footsteps. They were incredibly proud of her; the only blight on her happiness was leaving Thomas. She was very close to him; he was an aspiring writer, having trouble finding a publisher but doing his best.Settling into London in a flat with two other female students, Anna and Sally, Michaela was happy with the way life was going for her. Anna was also missing a boyfriend but felt her music was her priority. Exams were on the horizon, the teachers were pleased with her progress, but when Michaela fell ill, her subsequent return to Australia for recuperation meant her life would change.What would happen to Michaela and her dreams? Would she find a life with Thomas or would her future go in a completely different direction?
This novella by Margaret Sharp is a delightful story. A quick, easy read but one with depth and intrigue. Michaela is a likeable character who has an inner strength which she uses when necessary. Another Aussie title I have no hesitation in recommending.
With thanks for my copy to read and review.
Great news! My new release, ‘Michaela Betrayed’, has been reviewed!
Here it is…
5.0 out of 5 stars
5.0 out of 5 stars
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Michaela has worked all her life in pursuit of the achievement of her… um, *father’s* goal, and bright, gifted and determined, she’s succeeded. Which isn’t bad. Michaela’s won a scholarship to study music in London, and the only hitch is that London sits inconveniently at a 17,000-kilometer remove from Australia and her closest friend, Thomas, an aspiring writer whose hopes may exceed his talent, and who certainly isn’t her parents’ concept of a suitable mate.Just when she seems safely and happily ensconced in her life in England, though — enjoying her studies, a shared flat, and the prospect of a new life — she’s stricken with pneumonia and induced to return to Australia for a month or two to recuperate, again bringing Thomas into her sphere and kindling a blaze of romance between them. But for Michaela, circumstance is a driving force, and Thomas may eventually cease to be her focus.
What I particularly liked about Sharp’s novella was its absolute verisimilitude. Young women like Michaela are influenced (for good or for ill) by their fathers, in just the way that Sharp describes. And life’s vicissitudes do seem to intervene in exactly these chaotic ways… more often than one would think statistically plausible. It was altogether easy to get into Michaela’s head (and Thomas’, for that matter). Whether Michaela chooses Thomas, her music instructor, or neither, I won’t reveal — but her thoughts and feelings have the ring of authenticity, and engage and captivate the reader.
Of course, in a world that little values art (of any sort), Michaela’s pursuit of music was not actually less quixotic or unrealistic than Thomas’ pursuit of a literary career, so there was a judgmental double standard emanating from her parents, and a measure of hypocrisy inherent in her initial acceptance of their views, but this, too, was entirely realistic. The best characters are the ones who are flawed, tempest tossed by fate, and bound to confront their own conflicted feelings. This novella *is* good art, in any case (as well as an extraordinarily good read), and deserves to be valued. Five stars.
Footnote: What a great way to celebrate my 3ooth Post!!
When you’re a writer, reviews of your own work engender a plethora of emotions. There’s the waiting and wondering, particularly for early reviews. Then, there’s the inevitable reflection on their meaning and potential outcome, and the hope of words that reflect one of humanity’s deepest desires, approval.
In other words, reviews matter.
Some say that reviews are mostly for the benefit of potential readers, but the reality is that well-founded observation, positive or negative, can help the writer, too. Seeing through the eyes of another can alert an author to points perhaps previously unrecognised.
So, I say a big ‘Thanks you’ to Shelleyrae at Book’d out for her thoughtful review.
Here’s the link: http://bookdout.wordpress.com/2013/02/23/review-long-and-short-australian-stories-by-margaret-lynn-sharp/
More good news! Shelleyrae at Book’d out, one of Australia’s leading, respected book blogs, has accepted my sixth published work for appraisal.
She’s literally booked out, and so the collection is scheduled for next year: February, in fact.
I’m absolutely honoured and delighted that she has accepted this volume, especially since she has already reviewed this year, my second work, ‘A Taste of Life and Love in Australia’.
February: the month for lovers. Valentine’s Day.
February: the month for the review of perhaps my very best effort to date: Long and Short Australian Stories.
Oh: Happy day!
Early this morning, Shelleyrae at Book’d Out published a beautifully presented Guest Post featuring me, my family, and my writing. Not surprisingly, she has set it out in a lovely and professional manner.
Late this afternoon, Shelleyrae revealed her insightful and well-expressed review of my second book, ‘A Taste of Life and Love in Australia.’ In it, she speaks of each story as a ‘window into the nature of relationships’, and describes each as ‘thoughtful and charming’.
Pointing out quite correctly that the tales are often vignettes rather than Short Stories, she states that ‘the writing is evocative, inspiring emotion with well-crafted prose and natural dialogue.’
So, all in all, I’m absolutely delighted! As a self-published author, the road is proving to be uphill. Thank goodness that dedicated people like Shelleyrae are there to help smooth the way.