Friday, February 25, 2011
No Hook. Lots of Telling. A First Chapter of Backstory. Simply Wonderful!
"The Village Nurse's Happy-Ever-After"
by Abigail Gordon
Harlequin Medical Romance
Miniseries: The Bluebell Cove Stories
Category: Classic Romance
Just What The Doctor Ordered!
Abilgail Gordon is a master storyteller! “The Village Nurse's Happy-Ever-After” is not only a joy to read, it’s a breath of fresh air! I loved it! The author treats readers like they have brains and don’t have ADD!
The narrative opens quietly as the characters are introduced with enough history to quickly place the reader in the center of the story. This gives the novel a richness in detail and texture usually only found in much longer books. I really enjoyed this approach.
I believe that today too many authors write every book as if it were a high suspense thriller. As Stephen Spielberg has said:
“People have forgotten how to tell a story. Stories don’t have a middle or an end anymore. They usually have a beginning that never stops beginning.”
That’s exactly how I feel. If an author can truly tell a story, artificial ‘thrill’ gimmicks do not need to be used. Readers don’t demand these things; editors do. (Too bad.)
Let me give an example of how annoying these techniques can be for a reader. Suppose you work in an office, you’re one of the unmarried women there, and a dreamy hunk has transferred in from the Dallas office. All the girls want to know all about him.
Mary says, “I know all about Paul Goodall. I worked with him in Dallas. He’s single but that’s all for now. Pay close attention to me over the next three weeks and ,little by little, I’ll let slip a detail or two about him. Just be sure to hang on to my every word.”
Would you be happy with Mary? That’s what authors do with 'dribbling backstory'. This technique makes good sense from the author’s POV. But it does not add to the reader’s reading enjoyment.
Abigail Gordon wrote “The Village Nurse’s Happy-Ever-After” as if she was telling a heartwarming love story from the POV of the reader. I loved it. Not every story has to be written on the suspense/thriller paradigm.
About the story:
The heroine, Phoebe Howard, is a newly divorced mother and nurse with a baby her husband did not want. The hero is a doctor, Harry Balfour, who has come back to his old town and medical practice in Bluebell Cover, England. His wife has died in Australia where he moved to be with her five years before. Both Harry and Phoebe have apartments above the medical practice building. Of course, they meet often -- both at ‘home’ and in the office.
Because of his unhappy childhood, Harry does not want a family. Phoebe, given her ex-husband’s attitude, has no interest in men who do not want a family. How the two work this problem out is half the fun. The other half is just in the pure fun of reading this enjoyable work.
I’m delighted that “Bluebell Cove” is a miniseries. I intend to read all the “Bluebell Cove” books.
If you like Medical Romances, you’ll love this one!
“The Village Nurse's Happy-Ever-After” – A Perfect Book for Writers to Read!