owl in winter

owl in winter

Saturday, January 10, 2015

A Short Review of The Discovery of Joy

I am so excited about this, friends. What an awesome review of my women's fiction novel, from....a man. Holy cow.Jumping up and down, blowing party whistles, throwing glitter all about, my party hat askew, dancing to Roy Orbison. Well? Wouldn't you?  

What affirmation. I mean, really. Still dancing. 

But the clock strikes midnight and well, we have to get dignified (crap) in spite of our very best selves, and so...here we go. 

My friend, RIckey Pittman, graciously agreed to review my novel prior to release and wrote this "short" (not so short) review. Just a bit of history here - I met Rickey a few years ago, at the Ozarks Creative Writers' Conference, in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Since that time, RIckey and I joined forces in reviewing one another's work, and giving critiques and reviews of and for each other. So, I was so pleased when he agreed to review my women's fiction novel, The Discovery of Joy. Rickey is an accomplished novelist, songwriter, musician and storyteller, as well as being an educator. And, he is a dear friend, while we're at it. Here is a link to his website: https://www.bardofthesouth.com/. With that, here is the "short" (not so short) review of The Discovery of Joy." I intrude a bit, notice the italics.

The Discovery of Joy by Yvonne Erwin: A Short Review (hahahah - that's me laughing)

The Discovery of Joy is a first novel by Yvonne Erwin.  I think this novel will help set her on her way as a romance writer. (Romance? DId he say romance? I like, even though I never thought of myself as a romance writer. Oops, Rickey, go on.) And yes,  this is a romance novel—reminding the reader of how easily and quickly one can fall in love and the price one may have to pay for those forays into love’s territories.

Erwin writes with a strong sense of narrative, a style that reminded me of Candace Bushnell. In her writing, (Candace Bushnell? Sex in the City? That's big, baby) I see scenes rich in vivid imagery and emotion. For example, the early scene of the moving van is one that will not be easily forgotten.  Many of the scenes are quite sexy and she accomplishes this without being graphic. (OMG, this means he read it, he read the freaking book. Wow.)

After reading the book, I feel like I know the characters well, even down to the interior conflicts and conversations—the talks  and questions we have as we experience life and question our own value and sanity. The reader will gain insights into what Erwin describes as the “caustic void” of the legal world, and the heart-rattling realities of divorce. Erwin’s writing causes us to think about the angst, the secrets, the lies, the memories, years and “twisted, gnarled roots of our life” that sit between people. There is a wide variety of characters that the reader is sure to identify with in this (to borrow a phrase of Erwin’s) “waltz of discoveries." (Mhmmm, mhmmm.) The reader will encounter the sincerely religious, the crazies, the cruel, and the fair-weather friends. The reader will feel how marriage and conquest change people, about secrets, about lies. (And, you're gonna eat a lot, or at least thing about eating a lot. This is a foodie book as well.)

Though there are men who are key characters, this is a story about women—the women of Springfield, Missouri.  We discover their self-doubts, the struggle with self-image, about what a woman feels when she is caught in the rut of a dead-end job and existence, how it feels to be fired without explanation, and how marriage can be a paradise or a nightmare, exceeding or disappointing our expectations.

If you are a reader or a writer of romance, you are sure to enjoy, The Discovery of Joy by Yvonne Erwin.

Thank you, Rickey Pittman. Looking forward to your next work.

1 comment:

  1. Yvonne, this is so cool! And I love how excited you are about it -- and should rightly be. Congratulations! Can't wait to read it!