Friday, July 25, 2008

Book Giveaway--Last Day!

Still time to enter for your chance to win one of four copies of Still Summer by Jacquelyn Mitchard.

You can enter in comments once in each of the posts between Tuesday and Friday. This one--tho it's not still Friday as I prepare to publish this--sigh. Friday's are often hectic around here.

I feel bad about that and am considering extending the 3PM Saturday deadline for qualifying comments because of my dereliction. As it is I know I'm probably not going to be ready to conduct the drawing and prepare the winner announcements that early. I don't know what I was thinking when I set it. Other than that I knew Ed and his folks would have left for the dirt track races by then.

Race day Saturday is my chore day--laundry, room clutter patrol etc. And this weekend is one of the rare ones my niece is able to be here what with her summer jobs. So tell you what, when I sit down to start the drawings as soon after 3PM PST as possible (and I will make it my first chore after Ed turns the laptop over to me as he prepares to leave) I will start with Tuesday's post and work forward doing one drawing at a time. As I begin to prepare the list of contestants for each post, I will close comments temporarily--until after the winner's announcement is posted atop this post. So if you come in after 3 but comments are still open and no winner's announcement is posted then you might still have a chance. It is this post particularly that I want to extend the deadline for as it is really unfair of me to be posting it so late that it is nearly dawn on the east coast.

I'm so sorry about that. This was my first giveaway and I'm kinda fumbling at it. I hope I get my act together better for next time. Always assuming I'm allowed a next time. :(

See Sunday's post for the poem I wrote inspired by this book. (not part of the giveaway)
See Tuesday's post for my book review
See Wednesday's post for my TT featuring info from various bios of Jacquelyn Mitchard.
See Thursday's post for a glimpse of and discussion of the hardback and tradeback book covers.

I had planned another in depth discussion of the novel for this post based on the questions I proffered all the WG participants this week for answering in their book reviews. Well it can't be in depth else or it will be noon before I publish this but I'm going to paste the questions below and give myself 30 minutes to answer what I can which means either short and sweet answers or only one or two answered.

I admit I used a boilerplate to leave these questions but I really wanted to plant these concepts with book reviewers. For as a reader who writes and a writer who reads I'm interested in the technique and art of storytelling itself:

How was Point-of-View handled? Was there a single POV character or did it alternate among two or more. Was it always clear whose eyes and mind were filtering?

POV jumped among dozens of characters major, minor and incidental. For the most part it was handled well enough I was usually clear who was thinking/witnessing what.

How was language used to set tone and mood?

Language was matter-of-fact most of the time, moving the story's action along. But Mitchard was deft at setting a humorous tone when called for, a dreamy romantic one a couple of times, an occasional contemplative one, and many a tense, anxious one when necessary. And it was frequently necessary. She would alternate mood, playing it like a symphony of emotion on its way to a crescendo.

Was the prose dense or spare? Were sentences generally simple or complex?

Her prose tended toward the spare and sentences toward the simple. I mean compared to Falkner's sentences that covered pages. But she wasn't as spare as Joan Didion who favored sentences with a noun and a verb and as little else as possible. So she lands in mid spectrum really.

How was metaphor used? Were associations fresh or did they tend toward cliche? Did they add to your understanding of the theme?

Overall metaphors were sparse but when used they were fresh. I never caught a cliche unless possibly when a character would think or speak in one because it was in character for them.

What was the central or organizing theme?

Transcending one's character in the service of survival and love. Each of the women--even Janis who stayed behind for a family emergency--had to struggle with their character flaws, their internal demons--rising to the occasion (or not) in order to work out their own salvation without compromising their integrity. Mitchard's purpose I think was to write a damoselle in distress story in which the damoselles were their own heroes.

2 tell me a story:

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