Reviews – in retrospect and in anticipation

I have been blessed with some of the most wonderful and heartfelt reviews of ATLMD that any one-off writer could possibly hope for, and I am very cognizant of the fact.

I am, I hope I have made clear, also grateful almost beyond words.

But I feel fairly sure that there are readers out there who are saying to themselves something along the lines of “Will the bloody woman NEVER be satisfied ? – how many reviews will it take to get her off this topic, for crying out loud ?!”

Simple answer: an infinite number.

When one writes a novel, one is extremely anxious that it be well received and well reviewed, right ? (I’m guessing, here, having never had the ability to do so.) After all, one has spent time and effort to the point of exhaustion thinking of the plot, the characters, the dialogue, the settings and, of course !, the dénouement. One wants all that to be suitably acknowledged; but more importantly, to be enjoyed.

cs.jpgWhen one writes a memoir, and especially a memoir dealing at least in part with an indescribably loved husband’s being lost forever, one is much more than extremely anxious. One has flayed oneself openly in order to set the scene for the memoir: one has let the world see just what one was.

Enough with all the third persons !

First, it is of paramount importance to me that people read my book and, I hope !, enjoy it, But it’s of whatever is the adjective one rung up from paramount (I know, I know, alright ?!) to learn that they derived enjoyment from reading it because they understood its purpose – the drive to keep my husband in this world by preventing his ever being forgotten. Or at least being remembered for a fucking long time !!!

And so there is never going to be a review that is unwelcome to this author (a more relevant word than ‘writer’, I think, in terms of my having so recently ascertained the absence of my muse); nor will there be one that I don’t post about.

I have another ready to post tomorrow, from my longtime Irish blogging friend JD Gallagher (Ed.: site now offline). And I HOPE HOPE HOPE that it will not be the last …


  1. Bloggy it was once, indeed – but a good few weeks back. The trouble with me is that I have been known to change themes at the drop of a hat; and so everyone expects to see a different on ! 🙂


  2. Sales ? Forget it. I make nothing from the sales, Gerard. Money has never been my motivation; and I’m more sorry than I can say if I have ever given that impression …


  3. M-R I must add that the reviews are not only a favor to you. Writing the review really pushed me outside of my normal comfort zone of writing. i really learned a great deal. I thought you quite mad when you asked but am so glad you did. Let’s hope they keep coming!


  4. You did maunder on about that at the time, and I breezily ignored it all and held your beak to the white line, eh, Sue ? I think everyone capable of much more than they think themselves to be, and without a whole lot of effort ! 😀


  5. Not afraid; just resigned to the almost total lack of activity on the part of my distributors (let alone the publicity side of my publishers).


  6. Love the photo of Chic. Little story – my father was a Far East POW and there was a TV series, Tenko, (1970s?) about a group of women Far East POWs (on Java, I think). My father watched this and often criticised details, but was clearly reminded of, his traumatic past. He was in an airport and saw a woman he knew well and rushed over to embrace her… only she wasn’t an old friend she was one of the stars of the series. She repulsed him; big embarrassment as he retired to work things out, which eventually he did. As soon as he got home, he wrote to the star and explained himself and she wrote a charming letter to him. The point of all this? When I saw the photo of Chic I thought at first he was someone I had met, but I think it is simply that I had become emotionally attached to him through you.

    Laughed out loud at your ‘third persons’.


  7. Oh, I hope so, Hilary ! The wonderful woman to whom I dedicated the book, my erstwhile bereavement counsellor, never fails to talk about him as a friend. Not a dead friend. She says I have made him real for her; and that’s exactly what I sought to do with ATLMD.
    Your dreaming of him seems to indicate that. I love it more than I can ever tell you.


  8. Do you know, Irene, that was the very first place I ever saw mention of my book’s having been published ?! – it was TOTALLY THRILLING !!! 🙂


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