Thursday, January 20, 2011

When authors change writing styles

I think I'm very lucky. The day I run out of physical books (ebooks are another matter), Aunty Florence lent me two(: A Joy Fielding that was extremely interesting (although the values aren't good, so I'm not going to talk about that book), and another book called Rainwater by Sarah Brown.

If the name rings a bell, it's probably because I reviewed a book of hers once, called Tough Customer. Tough Customer, in a sense, is typical of her writing style/genre, which is a Police-Thriller-Mystery, that kind of genre (which I totally enjoy).

But this time, Rainwater is different. It's essentially a love story at it's core, about sacrifice. It's set in America, during the Great Depression, and it concerns the landlady of a boarding house and her (new) tenant. There's a very nice theme about not being racist, which is (not really) surprisingly, an integral part of the plot. The ending, while sad, is satisfactory. And I suppose you can say it's one of those Happy-And-Sad endings that are very hard to do, but so good when well done.

And another aspect that was scarily coincidental is that her son has autism, which isn't diagnosed til the end of the book; although I kinda suspected it from her description of his growing up (normal til 2 or 3 then rapidly deteriorating, which is typical of kids with ASD - Autism Spectrum Disorder). The way that the they (the mom and the new tenant - David) interact with her son (Solly, aka Solomon), is very touching and sweet, and it's marvellous the way she describes the breakthrough of Solly. (:

Talking about this reminds me of another book that is written in a style/plot atypical of it's author(ess), I don't know if you've heard of it, but it's called Big Sister by Danielle Steel. Danielle Steel (I wonder if I got her name wrong) typically writes romance novels with Happy Endings, like Amazing Grace (good book). But this book detailed the relationship between a pretty skinny sister and her ("Fatter") older sister (who is the protagonist). There're elements of child abuse (by that, I mean mental abuse), and a love plot (although it's a secondary issue here).

All in all, I think it's a good thing when authors change from their usual books. I think because they have already honed their writing style, they can change styles without sounding stilted. >.< Now, I want to re-read Bird By Bird (which I reviewed previously, so I shall now hold my peace), but I should be re-reading my Literature texts (like The God of Small Things, which I read today, and was extremely confusing for me; and even more, like my World Lit Texts, plus The Sound of Waves which is my World Lit Assignment 2 text (: ) and of course, my ebooks, which I'm downloading faster than I read.

But these are, of course, happy problems (:

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