They Like Me! Reviewers describe my novel as authentic, engaging and charming
As noted earlier, I recently released my debut novel—Machrihanish—in eBook form. The big marketing blitz (at least as much as my paper route money can afford) won’t be unleashed until the hardcover and paperback versions are ready for public consumption in about a month or two. But I’m happy to report that the digital version is starting to gain a bit of traction.
The two most tangible signs of this are reviews by the San Francisco Book Review and the Portland Book Review. These represent the first subjective takes based solely on the quality of the work. As grateful as I am for the support of family and friends, this unbiased commentary is gold to me. After more than two years into the creative process, I'm beginning to get a sense of what I really have here.
And, it would appear, it really is something. Which is deeply gratifying and rather exciting!
“A Book for a Much Larger Audience”
Portland’s reviewer gave it four stars. The story resonated with her. She liked the characters. And it didn’t take her long to adjust to the heavy use of Scottish brogue. Specifically:
“…all of the characters (except the main heroine) speak Scottish dialect. However, after the first shocking impression, their dialogues become completely understandable. In addition, such literary device gives a sense of authenticity and keeps the reader engaged. Moreover, with every page the novel’s odd but likable characters and growing plot help the reading become less and less challenging, and more charming.”
Whew! I must admit adopting the dialect to the written page was my biggest concern while writing this book. It just wouldn’t have worked without it. But there was the real danger that it wouldn’t work with all the odd word spellings. Granted, this is only a data point of one. But I now have reason to believe that I’ve managed to walk that particular tightrope without crashing and burning.
The closing line of Portland’s review, however, was the most encouraging of all: “Despite the heavy golf influence, this is a book for a much larger audience.”
While the novel is aimed primarily at folks who love and play the game (which probably includes you if you’re reading this blog), my hope is that the story will appeal to a broader audience. If non-golfers come away with a greater appreciation for golf—especially as it’s played on an authentic Scottish links—then I will be greatly chuffed, as my friends on that side of the pond would say.
I love the game, the way it was meant to be played and shared. So it would mean a great deal to me to know that I’ve helped, if only in a small way, to convey its wonderful virtues to those who’ve yet to experience them. Heck, maybe they’ll even be inspired to pick up a club and join us!
“About Growing, Golf and the Game of Life”
The San Francisco Book Review echoed similar sentiments. Here are a few snippets:
“A young woman makes peace with her relationship with her father in Scotland with the help of some golf and his golfing buddies, in this sweet story centering on themes of family, friends, and golf.
“(The novel) boasts numerous delightful characters that offer diverse personalities as well as international backgrounds that keep the story lively and entertaining.”
“A charming story about growing, golf and the game of life.”
This review, as well as Portland’s, was written by a woman who doesn’t play golf. Neither of them fit the target market. Yet the story still works for them on some level. Which is rather cool.
Hopefully their words will encourage others to download mine. Or order a hard copy in the very near future. And if, by so doing, they gain a deeper appreciation for the game—or a warm introduction to it—then I will proudly proclaim: “Mission Accomplished!”