Wednesday, 5 December 2012

The Writer by Nicole Stuart

Book Title:  The Writer

ISBN  978-1-920659-22-6

Part of Series:  No.  See other books by Nicole Stuart:

Author:  Nicole Stuart

Available at: Amazon US, Amazon UK
Price:  $2.99

Number of words (approximately):  50042

Star Rating (of five):  5

Summary:  A writer, frustrated at the failures of his plots and characters, travels from Vancouver to Mossel Bay, South Africa, in search of inspiration.  He finds it the first day, in a photograph of a beautiful blonde woman he took by accident.  Her appearance ignites the spark, and he settles down to write the book that tells of him writing the book.  The blonde woman takes on a strange reality as the plot develops, a reality paralleled in his real world, as he races to complete the story.


- “Have a look down there!”  Peter exclaimed the words suddenly, quietly, so their sound carried only to Roger and Geraldine.  Roger looked in the direction of Peter’s nod, and his heart stopped.  ‘Down there’ was the woman.  She was sitting at a bench seat with three men, her right side and back to them.  Her hair, blazing bright in the sunshine, made her impossible to miss.  It was a beacon of light in the crowded open-air restaurant area.  As Roger looked, she turned her head to talk to the man beside her.  The move brought her delicate nose, her fine lips and her elegant eyebrows into sight.

Roger raised his camera and took a series of shots of her, the automatic exposure and focusing mechanisms of his new camera making light work of the mechanics of the act.  Roger’s action was brought to an abrupt end when the man who had previously blocked his view of the woman returned to his seat on a slightly raised level of the restaurant, and blocked the view again.

“I agree with you!” stated Geraldine, turning back to face Roger.  “There is a story there.  She’s a German heiress to an industrial empire.  The three men with her are suitors, each one vying to become her husband and to share the spoils of her father’s reign of tyranny over the repressed workers in his fifteen factories!”

“You know her?” asked Peter.  “Gosh, that’s impressive!”

“I don’t know her, dummy!” laughed Geraldine.  “The story just seemed plausible.  “She’s got to be something special, looking like that!  Those men are doting on her!”

Roger was looking in the direction of the table that had disappeared from view, hoping that the large man who was blocking his line of sight would move away, evaporate, anything!  He needed to see the woman again.  He did not simply want to see her.  He needed to see her, in a way that he had never experienced before!

Suddenly, there was a disturbance at the edge of the water.  One of the surfers was wading in towards the shore, dragging something behind him and shouting unintelligible words.  Roger picked up his camera and walked towards the beach, near to where the surfer would be coming on shore, keen to record any additional atmosphere that might be included in his story.  He looked around briefly, noticing that Geraldine and Peter were close behind him.  The surfer finally reached the beach and turned side on, to pull the object he was towing onto the sand.

It was a man.

A dead man, to be exact.  The body was dressed in lightweight clothing suitable for a business meeting in a hot climate – trousers, a light cotton shirt with no tie, socks but no shoes on his feet.  He was clearly dead, in the sort of way that one instinctively knows indicates death.  His mouth was partly open, the eyes staring.  Roger lifted his camera without thinking, and took a series of photographs, changing focal length from wide angle to telephoto as he did so, covering the general scene, the surfer, the body and the crowd now standing around it, gaping in that horrid fascination that draws crowds to freeway pile-ups, building collapses and other forms of violent death.  Every face that Roger photographed showed the same expression of shock, horror and fascination.  Every face but one.  The last face that Roger captured on his digital memory card was that of the blonde woman, as she approached the scene.  It showed a series of expressions on her at-first serene face that changed, developed, as she took in what she was seeing – interest, tragedy, fear,   and recognition.  Roger managed to film in rapid fire each development of the expression as it changed from interest to recognition, as the woman moved through the blanketing crowd to a position where she could see the dead face of the man on the sand.  Roger saw her eyes roll backward.  Without thinking, and without intention, he forced his way through the crowd to her side, and caught her as she fell in a dead faint. -


Reviewer’s Comments:

Structure:  The book is well-structured, makes good use of the language and is easy to read.

Content:  The plot is an interesting one.  It tells the story of an author writing his story, and also the story he is writing.  A number of coincidences occur, bringing his real life into parallel with his story, and he is increasingly compelled to allow his characters to tell their stories to the end.

Reviewer’s Comments: 

I love Nicole Stuart’s work.  It is easy to read, compelling, with many unique thoughts and plots.  This book is one of her best – it is un-put-downable, and leaves the reader with the feeling that all is as it should be.  A delightful book!  I look forward eagerly to the next.

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