Chapter 1 - Part 1 Discovery

Chapter 1 - Part 1 Discovery

A Chapter by C. Rose

Pearl Meredith Hunter has been waiting for her life, or story, to begin for as long as she can recall.


I was once told by my father that my mother wanted to name me Pearl in honor of the most precious object ever created by nature. She always had a way of turning life into a vignette, somehow more of a picture than actual living, breathing energy. This was her way of coping, well that and a combination of booze and pills. Even on her death bed she looked at me, a young, fifteen year old girl, and said, "Please make sure they show me like the first magnolias of spring darlin'." It was the last thing my mother said to me, and so typically, dramatically Southern. I received no final words to carry me forward, only a simple request to keep her story in tact. I believe now that my mother's entire life was a story playing in her mind, looping out of control. She wasn't an active participant, more-so just an observer through her own cloud of addiction. To my mother, appearances were so important that many, as no one was let too close, did not know her struggles with addiction until after she passed at only thirty seven years of life. I suppose I could hold some sort of anger or resentment toward my mother, but I do not. She was who she was and, in all honesty, I loved her anyway. I kept my promise and she looked as beautiful on the day we buried her as the day she walked down the isle to wed my father. It seems an eternity has drifted by since I sat with my mother on her death bed, watching her story slowly dissolve into a melancholy dust.

My childhood changed dramatically after my mother's death. My father, unable to cope with the loss, sent me to live with my mother's sister, Aunt Virginia in Chicago, Illinois. It was an odd transition living in this metropolis compared to the slow days of that small town in Georgia. I used the only thing my mother taught me, my story, to make friends and coast through much of the occasions that fill the life of a teenager. My father and I tried to stay in touch, but he was never the same after her death. I believe he blamed himself for my mother's passing, feeling that he could have prevented it, somehow, if he could have given her more. In truth my father was a good husband, it was my mother that could not see the treasure life bestowed upon her. It was not that she was frigid or heartless, but only that she had never learned to feel the experience of emotions that life showers upon us. She never seemed to realize that while she worked so hard to keep out the hurt, she then lost the experience of feeling true joy and happiness in her life. One cannot exist without the other, joy's constant companion is pain and my mother could never sit in that reality. My aunt, carrying much of the same insecurities and traumas as my mother, seemed to cope by seeking attention rather than dreading it. She was full of nervous energy, spending it all on maintaining her pecking order in the social circles of the wealthy in Chicago. Always out in attendance, willing to criticize her host and intrude into the lives of others for her own gain. My aunt was a true social vulgarity compared to my mother, who preferred to keep a distance from judging realities. This shift in my environment made it hard to relate to her on any level and so my time at home was mainly spent laying around my room surrounding myself in art and literature to pass the time. I loved the soul and passion I witnessed in all my studies and spent my time enjoying as many aspects of art, literature and culture that I could find. I knew it was my life's calling to contribute to the beautiful and noble cause of the artistic endeavor, capturing the essence of humanity in a minutia of words that is able to withstand the harsh passing of time. I spent hours in the museum and library carefully recording how the works that surrounded me filled my soul and gave me a longing for a life filled with truth, beauty, love and freedom. Flirting with the dream of those moments, already passed in time and giving way to the fantasy of my own participation, sometimes as a tragic poet, others as a sultry grisette, entrancing artists with my muse like gaze. Never long into my moments of seclusion and fantasy would my aunt endure before intercepting my attention to call for order, which could only be defined in her world as conforming to every ideal, fashion and trend being promoted by her social circle and commercial gods. It was my eighteenth birthday when I saw, for the final time, the very disconnect that would exclude my aunt from being able to fulfill the void left behind by my mother. I wanted so desperately to have a role model, someone that could teach me wisdom and educate me in all those haunting details of life before they were to pound at my door, demanding my attention. Unfortunately, my concerns that my aunt would not be the role model I was so desperately seeking became quite evident the night of my birthday celebration.

It was a warmer than usual time in Chicago, still recovering from an exhaustive heat wave, my guests were sauntering about the backyard of my Aunt's estate on Prarie Ave., coalescing about the latest high society gossip with the formality of art, literature and politics peppered into the discussion. It would be more appropriate to explain that the guests were my aunt's more than mine. It was not that I didn't make friends in my time at school in Chicago, but they were never those friendships I have heard people talk about. I never knew what it was to have sleep-overs or share secrets about my dreams and desires. I simply never connected with anyone on that level and because of that I never knew what I was missing. I always felt there was something more meaningful coming in life and everything up to that point was just scenes that I was passing through. There was no need to worry if I did not enjoy the storybook teenage life everyone seems to desire. I wanted to write my own storybook and I knew that, at that time in Chicago, my story hadn't started yet, or at least I thought. I watched as the group debated a new artist that was being shown at my aunt's gallery, some happy with his emerging recall of the great artists of the early 1900's, others annoyed with the lack of nuance and detail believed needed of such impressionistic work. It was never long into these debates that my aunt would endure before always throwing in a loud and final word to change the topic to something that was more entertaining. She held no passion for art, owning the gallery only to spite her second husband in a bitter divorce, my aunt used the gallery solely to rub elbows with the elite and keep her stake in the social pools she desperately sought to waft within.

"It is not without it's merits, this new vision of work, and that cannot be argued." Aunt Virginia announced to her quarreling guests, quickly ending the contention. "Now on to more lovely things, did anyone happen to see Mrs. Dawnberry leaving Mr. Hampton's estate in the early hours of Thursday by chance? Well I did...", the conversation took a tail spin back to the incessant chatter of gossip and rumor that seemed to intrigue them beyond all other debates or exercises in acumen. This party was the exodus of my youth into adulthood and I had no one to talk to, no one to share my anxiety or excitement with and no one to give me the advice I so desperately wanted. It was then that I met the acquaintance of Mr. Davison.

"You don't look like someone excited for the journey ahead." Came a voice from the bar behind me. I turned to see the bartender staring at me waiting for me to provide some sort of response. He looked to be in his forties, which I thought was a bit old to hold the position of a youthful career like bartender. My judgment quickly dissipated as I was able to gather that he carried the experience and lessons of all those that sat before him behind his olive green eyes. I was happy to have someone that seemed different than my aunt and her cavalcade of sycophants to distract my attention.

"How is that supposed to look?" I asked.

"There is a special gleam of the eye you see in someone that is starting their new journey." he explained. "I don't see that gleam with you, mind you there is something there, but it seems more enigmatic. Do you know what you plan to do next?"

"Actually I am traveling to study abroad for a year in Ireland." I responded, proud that even though I didn't have this special gleam I at least had a plan at the ready.

"Ireland? Beautiful country. I spent some time there years ago when I was a much younger traveler of the world. What do you plan to study?" he inquired.

"It is a year abroad to study art and literature. Then I return to finish my studies in the states." I explained.

"I’m curious, what made you choose Ireland? Most arts and literature students run off to places like Italy and Paris to find their muse." he inquired.

"Well there is a really good program in Ireland that covers world art and literature, and I have always wanted to see the country, it is part of my heritage on my father's side." I began explaining. "I hope to have a chance to visit Paris while abroad." I continued to map out my plans and the conversation stayed on topic for a time as we discussed the basics of traveling in Ireland. I was happy to get a least a few suggestions on how to handle myself in the world and I was easily distracted into conversation with Mr. Davison, watching as he refilled the glasses of the party guests, telling me of his travels as a young man abroad. It seemed to be exactly what I desired and it did not seem odd to me that the best conversation and advise on this special night was coming from a stranger. When my mother passed any basis of family died with her and I lived knowing that if I didn't consider the advice of a stranger then I would rarely hear any at all. Our banter became playful and must have alarmed my aunt as she approached the two of us with obvious concern.

'"Bartender, excuse me, could you please make your way to the kitchen and ask my chef to prepare more hor'dourves please, I believe we are running low." she requested.

"Yes ma'am." he replied and excused himself into the home. My aunt waited until he was clear of us and looked at me in a way that indicated she was not pleased with my newest acquaintance.

"Pearl, I honestly do not know what has gotten into you today. I know you are a grown woman and off to start your life, but please dear, you mustn't spend so much time chatting with the help. I swear it appears as if you are over here flirting with the poor man. Now be a good girl and mingle with your guests." she scolded.

"They are not my guests and I do not understand why it is so wrong to have an interesting conversation with Mr. Davison, even if he is the 'help'", I quickly snapped in rebuttal. She was aghast at my playful banter with this man and wore a face of utter shock at the outward defiance I responded with. The other guests had heard our argument and were staring, waiting for my aunt to respond in some way to my insolence. It was then that Mr. Davison returned with a platter of food to the silent and tense patio. He must of noticed that the argument was about the time I was spending chatting with him and how it displeased the elitists in our midst and broke the silence.

"Here you are ma'am. I asked the chef to prepare more of the caviar for you and your guests, it is a fine import, some of the best beluga in the world I believe." he explained as he presented the guests with the platter. It seemed to cause enough of a distraction that my aunt and her guests were immediately taken into conversation of travel and cuisine as they shoveled the fish eggs into their gullets. I was amazed at how simple it was for him to divert their attention back into the things of wealth and society that I cared so little for. It was within moments that they all retreated back into their usual party banter and I was back chatting with Mr. Davison.

"I'm sorry about my aunt." I tried to explain, "She doesn't seem to connect to humanity much, unless you are wearing the appropriate label that is." I laughed.

"Do not apologize for that Pearl." he responded, "I am not so new to this world and things like that do not bother me. I am just a being, as is your aunt, she just hasn't figured out her meaning yet is all." he said calmly.

"Meaning?" I replied in a dreadful tone. "Ever wonder if there is no meaning? It all seems like a big put on if you ask me. I believe we can only paint the world in a beautiful layer of art and love and then, BAM! Lights out!" I said with building momentum, crushing my hand onto the bar. I felt the sting of both the hard wood against my hand and the inner judgment of my naivety that came shining through. He responded only in a soft laughter and compassionate smile. In fact, he responded in such a way that for a moment I thought maybe I was wrong, maybe there is a possibility that some people do understand the meaning of life, as it were. Maybe there is something more to it all. My seat now awkward, he finally interrupted the tension.

"No, no I am not speaking of any elaborate life riddles or codes. Do not get me wrong, it always takes effort, however I am merely speaking of understanding ones own purpose. People like your aunt there, they only flutter about ordering others around and hide behind their stacks of money because they do not know their true purpose in life. Instead they turn to what they know best, wearing a mask." he explained.

It was his comment about wearing a mask that intrigued me. It made me think of my mother who I do not believe ever felt she had a purpose. Her mask was always in tact and never disturbed. I didn't want to go through life that way. He must of seen the worry behind my eyes as he immediately tried to sooth my obvious discomfort.

"I believe you will find yours though Pearl. Do not worry it will come in due time. Just remember that you will not find it if you stop looking." he stated, as if it were a final warning.

It was one of the only real conversations I had ever had up to that point in my life and I wished it could go on forever, but it could not, my aunt would make sure of it. Once full of caviar she quickly carried me over to her guests and distracted me from consorting with the help any longer. Playing like a show pony on the piano, it felt like an unlimited amount of song requests were submitted for me to entertain them into the late hours of the night. I was forced to sit in the reality of this moment, this was how I spent my last night before heading out into the world. I played their songs and prayed for what I hoped would be a more fulfilled adulthood. I made a promise to myself that night, I promised that I would never compromise for appearances again.

The next day I was off to experience a new world and new studies. When I arrived in Dublin, Ireland and immediately felt like my life had officially started. My stay was with a rather wealthy family living on the south side of the city giving me quick access to the Dublin Writers Museum and the Hugh Lane Municipal Art Museum. I did not spend much time with my host family as they seemed to be dispensing with the niceties of life in the aim of success in business. I instead filled my time attending classes and wandering the streets of Dublin, sometimes for what felt like days, hoping to find the inspiration I so desperately needed in order to add my soul to the long history of artists before me. I walked the streets aimlessly, staring into the faces of those that I passed hoping their eyes would change into windows opening their world, giving me some insight into their lives, desires and even secrets. I sat every day scribbling into my journal wishing that somehow I would finally scribe that poem, thought or doodle that would put me in my moment of glorious achievement that would connect me to my lineage and trigger ages old inspiration. Finally immersing me into that moment when an artist transfers his creation out of mind and soul and onto paper, bearing it's purity for all others to absorb. I never felt so lonely as I did on the days that nothing would come. I questioned myself, I carried the burden of emptiness in my heart and felt the excruciating frustration that can only be described as a spirit lost, detached from the very flesh that it longs for without end. There was a moment however, a time that started so simply and developed into what would become one of the most impressionistic times of my life.

Typical of the days consuming me at that time, my coffee and journal in hand, I sat and waited for something to happen. I would stare at the utter blankness of the page, my pen hovering waiting to attack, but again the thoughts would thwart my every effort to control and tame them onto the awaiting paper. I cannot recall how long these studies in absence would go on, but I can say it felt to be an eternity, that is until something snapped me out of my trance one gray morning.

"I do believe you might be forcing it a bit." came a voice from the void of reality surrounding me.

I looked up to see Tim Sullivan standing before me with that look of confidence he seemed to always carry effortlessly. I had met Tim, whom I was immediately corrected to call Sully, several weeks prior while meandering through some of the working class neighborhoods on the north side of Dublin. Although my student abroad sponsor advised me against coming to some areas of the north side alone, I found it to be a comforting place to visit. There were no put-ons or falsities about who people were and where they were from. They were their work and their family and I found myself more connected to the human spirit among them compared to the wealthy people I had been exposed to in my life. I met Sully at a local pub I had stopped in one afternoon and although I did not get to know him well before he was gone, he stayed in my mind for the weeks following. I had never met anyone so full of life and I must admit I was taken by his infinite beauty, both in flesh and spirit. I even had a small breakthrough the day I met Sully and was able to write a free verse poem to capture that feeling, in case I never was able to grasp it again.

"I saw a light in the distance.

A curious beam of energy piercing into my soul.

I saw harmony fill the air.

Tones of joy poured throughout my heart and mind.

I saw you before me.

Your eyes marking my spirit with an awakening of freedom."

"Oh, I guess I was caught up in thought." I said as I clumsily tried to close my notebook and rise to greet this unexpected visitor. "How are you Sully?" I asked.

"Well I suppose I am just fine, but I could always be finer. What say you and I make a day of it Pearly?" he extended his arm as an escort and smiled.

Pearly. It made me think of my father, who had been the only one to call me Pearly in my life, I missed him and wondered if he would be proud that I was here in the homeland of his father, or if he even thinks of me at all anymore. I never liked to think of my parent's for too long and found myself looking into Sully's eyes.

I smiled and happily replied, "I would love to!" and with that I was trotting through the city and surrounding villages that gave way to the Bay of Dublin.

Sully was like a character out of a good story, he was handsome with dark hair and eyes as green as the hillsides surrounding me, but it was not just his captivating demeanor that I fell in love with, it was how he was composed with a piquant sense of humor and a heroic spirit that made me feel entirely safe no matter what adventure he would guide me into. When I was with him I felt alive, bursting at the seems of my very flesh with an enchanting energy. Our first few dates were classically romantic. Never doing more than sneaking a kiss from time to time, he unveiled the true beauty of Ireland to me and I knew then what it was to feel like a true lady. We continued to see each other almost every day for the following months, traveling to the most beautiful places that had ever graced my eyes. We shared ourselves, our passions, our fears, all the things you wish to keep secret less you be judged too harshly by those who would hear, but we shared it all and it was effortless. I am not exactly sure of the moment I fell in love with Sully, but I was and I never wanted it to end.

One of the first nights of Spring we traveled to a secluded shoreline and watched never-ending waves crash against the rocky beaches below us. We felt the smallest wisps of saltwater tingle against our skin as the wind carried it up the cliff's edge. It was in the magical mist of that moment that Sully turned to me and told me, with pure honesty in his eyes, that he loved me. It was as if I had been given a serum of joy and I felt it traverse my veins, warming them and all I could do was smile. With that smile, we embraced and there on that shore cliff we connected in a way that I never connected with another person. Our flesh became one entangled mass as we heaved ourselves into each other. Our energy pulsing together as all control was released into the vibration of our two bodies. My mind was flooded with a menagerie of flashing colors and emotions and peaked to a climax that felt inescapable. It was mystical that night and I felt as if my life were suddenly charmed with a gift by a spirit greater than any mortal being could bestow. For the first time in life I sent a prayer into the universe that this moment in time be kept safe.

Time is perpetual though, it never stops, not for any amount of love, desire or passion. It continues on it's path never even slowing down to let us enjoy the gifts it delivers. My time with Sully was extraordinary and we had soon made plans to stay in Dublin and marry. It was the night we were celebrating our engagement that would prove how unforgiving time is. It was a typical night filled with friends, food and spirits in the city. I felt true happiness as I watched Sully make no mystery of his love for me singing folk songs of love and toasting to all the blessings in life. Round after round to all the things I hoped to capture in my life, truth, beauty, love and freedom, and after the final homage to our graces we began to walk home. It was the early morning hours, still living on a buzz from the festivities, I hadn't noticed our route until we were in an area of town that was not favorable of this type of jaunt.

"Sully isn't this area bad to walk through at this hour?" I asked him, feeling a sense of sobriety take over. There was hardly a soul on the street, but the few I could see were masking in the shadows in an ominous way.

"Alone yes, but you will be fine with me." he said reassuringly as he pulled me close to his side.

We walked with a brisk pace toward the next street and I felt a sense of foreboding with each step. My eyes were moving from one part of the street to the next trying to foresee any potential threats or dangers. It was the first time I ever felt scared when I was with Sully and it was not without his unflinching courage. Sully never walked or spoke in fear, he loved living and felt that fear only stifled life. It was with that same confidence that he escorted me down that dark street, but the feeling that something was about to go very wrong was unyielding in the pit of my stomach. For the first time I felt the real feeling of dread. I tried to speed the pace, but Sully carried his stride without change. I could only hear my breath pound in my ears. My heart throbbed in my chest and then the moment I was so afraid of was upon us. I started to hear voices from ahead that were escalated and I could feel Sully's pace quicken indicating he heard them as well.

"It sounds like someone is fighting up there." he said quietly.

"Please don't get involved okay." I pleaded.

"If people didn't get involved Pearly we would all still be beatin' our dinner over the head with sticks. Don't you worry now it is probably just a couple of townies arguing over the last johnny." he said with a chuckle.

As we approached we saw two men arguing, but it was unclear as to why. Sully made a gesture for me to stay as he approached the two men. As he walked toward them my heart sank into my stomach.

"Good mornin' there gents" he called out as he made his way toward the two men. Their argument continued as if they didn't hear or care to acknowledge Sully and he edged closer trying to get them to change their focus to him. I saw as one turned something shine in his hand and I shouted out to Sully.

"Sully!" I screamed and at the same time heard an explosive bang ring in my ears. I watched as the two men scattered off into the shadows leaving Sully standing their motionless. The sound of their tattered souls scraping into the wet asphalt in a diffident flee is forever burned into my memory.

"Sully!" I shouted again as I ran toward him. He was just standing there, not speaking or making any motion. I reached him as he fell to his knees.

"Oh my god! Sully please!" I cried out as I tried to comfort him in my lap. I screamed for help, but the streets were quiet and I didn't know if anyone heard my cries. I looked down to see him staring up into my eyes. It was all in there, his love, his passion, all the things I fell in love with were there staring at me through those green eyes. Blood covered my hand like a glove as I pressed it against the wound on his chest. I felt it flow in warm strings down my forearm and as I pulled him closer we both knew it was the end. The city streets around us disappeared and we were floating in the mist of the spring ocean together one last time. He was never able to say a word to me, but I didn't need any. In that moment our souls spoke without words. I wanted to stay here with him forever, knowing this was the last time he would ever look back at me. Tears poured from my eyes, but I made no sound. Unable to say goodbye, too scared what that meant for me now that I would have to walk my path alone. I watched as his spirit slowly dimmed until his eyes were dark, left with no trace of that sparkle that used to capture my attention without effort. I felt myself try to force time to stop and leave me there to suffer for eternity with him in my arms, but the silence was broken with the roar of sirens, called by someone that either saw or heard the incident. I suddenly was ripped from the last moment with Sully by a burly looking officer.

"Ma'am, please come with me so the medics can look at him." he directed.

"He is gone." I said. It was the last words I would utter for weeks. I had been given the gift of genuine, true love and as quickly as it entered my path it was ripped away leaving me alone and empty. I couldn't feel anymore, everything inside of me died that night with Sully and I was a shell of a being. It wasn't long after Sully was buried that I left Ireland and returned to the states. The streets of Dublin were nothing but images of those brief moments in time I had with my love. The reminders of him and the pity in the faces around me was unbearable and I took my only option at the time and moved back into my aunt's home on Prarie Ave. I found her there still dawdling about her social circles, living on a diet of gossip and vodka tonics. She tried to comfort me for my loss, but she was incapable of knowing what it was that I lost. I was angry at everyone and everything and had no outlet. My writing stopped that night with Sully's heart. I struggled through and finished my education, but never intended to put it to use. How could I ever create again now that my muse was gone from this world forever. I spent several years in Chicago working at odd jobs and barely acknowledging life as it drifted past me each day. The trance that I was left in that night took complete hold and I was only living in wait of my own demise in the hopes that maybe in death I would see my Sully again.

© 2011 C. Rose

Author's Note

C. Rose
*New Edits*02/2011

*Updated to break this chapter into 3 sections to make it easier for those that want to review *

*Updated with edits moderate revisions on 01/31/10*

This is the first chapter of a fiction novel that I am working. I would love to see this book published and have a structure of 12 chapters outlined. I am posting this first chapter on the cafe for reviews to see if I have captured the right essence of the story and characters. There is surely some grammar issues, but I believe it clean enough for some reviews. I would like reviewers to honestly share if they felt connected to the story, characters and where this chapter leaves you. Do you want to read more? It is rather long so I appreciate those that can take some time to read/review. Thank you.

My Review

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Unlike the previous reviewer, who I have noticed is rude and not entirely correct on all matters, I am not going to assault your work. I really noticed nothing wrong with it, a few errors in places, but we all make those. It is an interesting piece. My only advice is be wary of the outline, while outlines can be productive they at times stilt the story. My belief is always been to let the story take me where it will, that I know as little about the outcome as everyone else. I'm saying it's wrong to use one because several mainstream writers use them everyday. But it really all comes down what makes you comfortable.
I do hope you will send me more of this as you post it. Curious to see where it goes.

Posted 13 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


I like character driven stories and I see this as an example of one. It is nicely laid out with early character descriptions and consequential information. I do feel the town of Dublin in particular could be developed more. I enjoy details, many of them, whenever a city is a center point and it seemed this was a little short on specifics. However, it is apparent you have more to tell in upcoming segments which should be quite entertaining to read.
Very nice work...!

Posted 12 Years Ago

This is definitely a work in progress, but it has immense promise and, when you've done all the re-writes and gone through the excruciating process of of accepting CONSTRUCTIVE (I put that in all caps for The Perfectionist) criticism, it will be beautiful and compelling. The idea of Morristown is rich and opulent and you have the power to take it far and make it great. Please take everything The Perfectionist said with a grain of salt. Through my years of writing and having it reviewed by professors and other hard-asses, I've never read something so starkly rude and insulting and it's even more flagrant that he attempts to make it better at the end by insisting he just expects better. You have amazing potential and I enjoy and look forward to any of your future writing. Hope to see more of you around the literary world.

Posted 13 Years Ago

Unlike the previous reviewer, who I have noticed is rude and not entirely correct on all matters, I am not going to assault your work. I really noticed nothing wrong with it, a few errors in places, but we all make those. It is an interesting piece. My only advice is be wary of the outline, while outlines can be productive they at times stilt the story. My belief is always been to let the story take me where it will, that I know as little about the outcome as everyone else. I'm saying it's wrong to use one because several mainstream writers use them everyday. But it really all comes down what makes you comfortable.
I do hope you will send me more of this as you post it. Curious to see where it goes.

Posted 13 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I am going to call someone I don't like a 'social vulgarity' soon, I think.

As far as the story goes, at least so far, you talk a bit too much. One of the advantages (in fact, I would say it's even the biggest advantage) to third-person narrator is that you get to know everything, to tease the audience with what you know and they don't. Like all power, however, it can be misused. You enjoy having it too much, and showing it off (subconsciously, anyway). Virtually every second paragraph either gives something away completely or makes a very obvious hint at what's about to happen. It's fine occasionally, but with the amount you do it, it feels like the equivalent of poking the reader and going, "Wanna know what happens next?"

Yeah, we do. Stop rubbing it in.

There are a couple minor grammatical issues, a missing comma here, an incorrect possessive there, but nothing too serious. Your spelling is good as well.

At time of writing this paragraph, I have just finished reading about Pearl's adventures in Ireland. So far, this is just a paint-by-numbers story. There's nothing particularly original or interesting about Pearl's life so far, just writer's cliche #476. That's fine, cliches became popular for a reason, but I'm hoping to see more in the rest of the chapter to woo me.

Okay well I'm nearly done now and not much has changed. I've seen a few more grammar and spelling errors, endured more of your incessant desire to showcase your omniscience, and dragged my way through the endless cliches. I hope to God there is something worth salvaging in this story besides your excellent English.

Done now. My hopes have been squished. Pearl is a standard female lead (or one of the standards, anyway) and the men in her life flit in and out so fast I never get time to give a damn about them. Not that you really give them enough screen time when you are so centered on your main character.

When your chapter is long enough that I had to devote a significant amount of time to reading it, I had better come away feeling like it was time well spent. Instead I just feel kind of cheated out of my last few minutes by a massive piece whose only mystery is which cliche you're going to pull on us next.

You are setting up Morristown very obviously to be the centerpiece of your work, at least at this point, and that's definitely an intrigue for the reader, but if it's anything like what the rest of this chapter was, it's just going to be another disappointment.

Let me know when you post the next one.

By the way, lest you or anyone else misunderstand, the chapter is by no means bad, it's just average and I was expecting considerably more from something of this great length and writing skill.

Posted 13 Years Ago

2 of 4 people found this review constructive.

Wow, I'm in total awe at the moment! You have without doubt captured the characters, the atmosphere everything! You have a great flow and you really get the reader to understand the characters. The sorrow and grief she feels for Sully were masterfully described and I love that the insecurity she feels after his death. At the end of this story I began to wonder whether it's all real or just something she's made up in her mind, it reminded me of the story Abigail I wrote about a patient in a mental care facility who thinks she's Cinderella.
I have nothing but praise for this great first chapter, although an advice would be to divide it into smaller chapters here on the cafe if you want more to read it.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 13 Years Ago

1 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Wow such an amazing story. I am left wanting more. Wanting to know more about Morristown. Wanting to know more about Hap and Mrs. Rose. I had tears in my eyes when Sully died even though I was expecting it to happen. You never get involved in other peoples problems my parents have always told me that. Keep to yourself and keep walking. I could feel the characters pain through the words. You write flawlessly and from the beginning to the very end I was hooked on every word. To love someone so much and then lose them is heartbreaking. Then the question I have is it better to have loved and lost or to never have loved at all. I really enjoyed this. I hope to read more of Pearl's journey to Morristown. Send a read request anytime.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 13 Years Ago

1 of 2 people found this review constructive.

I thoroughly enjoyed this and really connected with Pearl and even Pearl's mother the way you describe them wearing masks. Sometimes I get caught wearing my own mask, and reading this story reminds me that taking the mask off to have fun and experience mystery and adventure is important, we only have one life after all. I thought you did a SUPERB job with the story of Pearl falling in love with Sully and time eventually taking that from her. Her downfall after was masterfully displayed through her emotions. Bravo.
I think you could have eluded to Morristown more throughout the story or just let the reader know(in a subtle way) that the story was headed towards a fantastical direction.
This reminds me a lot of "The Talisman" by Stephen King.
I connected Pearl's Aunt and Agnes Thirtlemeyer to each other, almost as if they were the same person, just different realities.
Great story though.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 13 Years Ago

2 of 3 people found this review constructive.

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7 Reviews
Shelved in 4 Libraries
Added on January 28, 2010
Last Updated on February 15, 2011
Tags: novel, fiction
Previous Versions


C. Rose
C. Rose

Albuquerque, NM

I am a poet and writer that pens under the bohemian dogma; "Truth, Love, Beauty and Freedom" and believe any form of expression is precious. I am a thirty something, living in the American Southwest .. more..

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