Wind to Water by David Hamershock is the second in a series of book reviews based on what I have been learning about writing. The textbook for today’s book review is “Characters, Emotion, and Viewpoint” by Nancy Kress.
I’m not sure what the author was trying to accomplish, but the novel failed on so many fronts, I actually continued reading simply to confirm the author hadn’t learned anything. I was not disappointed. The inane drivel continued from page one to the end.
I gave the novel 2 stars when asked by Amazon to grade it, because I couldn’t give it no stars and one star seemed to be cruel and unusual punishment.
The premise of the novel is a woman, named Maryn, falls in love with an Air force pilot, who is shot down over Iraq. Ten years later, Maryn decides she wants to change things, and takes a trip to Australia to rearrange her life and finally get over her fiancé. At the same time, a man, named Grant, writes a letter to his soulmate, and posts it on the Internet. Then, he decided to take a trip to Australia to try to figure out his own life. Naturally, Grant and Maryn find each other and live happily ever after.
So, what did I find wrong with the novel? Just about everything..
First, the author devotes page after page after page in exploring the emotions of Maryn and Grant through endless philosophizing. Maryn takes four or five pages to examine her emotions about her vacation. The letter Grant writes to his soulmate is seven paragraphs of additional philosophizing.
The biggest problem I have with the whole idea of examining Grant’s and Maryn’s motivation for their vacations is that they both come off looking like 60’s hippies on way too much LSD and pot. No one spends as much time examining their place in the universe as do Maryn and Grant. According to the novel, they are living in the 21st century, not the middle of the 20th century.
The second major problem with the book is it is infinitely boring. The author appears to be attempting to write a philosophical novel but fails miserably. There is action, but it is a ten paragraph description of a dirt road in the Australian outback. The POV characters, Maryn and Grant, are in their early thirties, but their actions remind me of when I was infatuated with my first girlfriend when I was twelve or thirteen.
According to “Characters, Emotion, and Viewpoint”, the key to a good novel is the reader becoming involved with the POV (point of view) characters and his or her motivation. However, I have no affiliation with either Maryn or Grant. Nor can I relate to the endless examinations of their thoughts or feelings. It will not effect my day if they fall in love or not.
About halfway through the book, I began looking at it from the aspect of changes to make it something readable. Sorry, my solution would be to delete the file from my computer, and start with a new idea, new characters, ne emotions, and a totally new viewpoint. I got my book for free. It’s not worth reading at even that price. Of course, I might be wrong. If any of the readers of this blog have an alternate opinion, please submit your findings. The previous review is, of course, my opinion.