S4 – Dear Diary

I thought it might be fun to write this in first person, as though someone had just read my book and was writing a reflection on it in their journal.  However, I didn’t really know how to go about it, not knowing what other people think makes a good book.  Some people like romance; some enjoy horror; still others would rather read comedy.  So instead of picking a wholly imaginary person, I decided to write as though it were a person with my taste in books reading my novel for the first time.  I tried to approach it objectively, acknowledging the flaws that I know will exist while at the same time endeavoring to hit some of the high points of the story.  This assignment is, in a way, a means for me to discover what I would like for me to think of my own novel if I could view it as a completely detached critic.

July 12, 2011

Dear Diary,

I finished my first novel of the summer tonight.  It was a quaint little book entitled A Wing and a Prayer, written by c. a. webb.  I’ve never heard of the author before, but oddly enough, it was the name that caught my attention.  Some of the best writers, I’ve noticed, are the ones who only use initials on their books: C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkein, A. A. Milne, E. D. E. N. Southworth, O. F. Walton, C. J. Mahaney, J. C. Ryle.  It doesn’t seem to matter what genre, books are always best if they’re written by “initialed authors.”  Since this author’s name was c. a. webb, I though that maybe her book would be good.

I can’t say that A Wing and a Prayer lived up to C. S. Lewis’ standard of writing.  In fact, I’m not even certain of whether or not it was a good book.  I suppose that’s an encouraging sign, however – the best books are sometimes the ones that you have to think about before you decide to like them.  The story itself was a quiet tale.  No big adventures or action scenes, just a sometimes sad, sometimes sprightly narrative of a family living through World War II.  It wasn’t masterfully written, but many of the descriptions and phrases were quite innovative.  The characters were well developed and real – well, they may have been a little too idealistic, but you could identify with them – and it was interesting to see some glimpses of day-to-day life on WWII’s home front.   The message of faith and trust was good if a little cliché; at any rate, it fit the setting of WWII quite well, I thought.

Now that I’ve thought it over a little more, I suppose it is a good book.  It’s a light novel but it’s got some hidden depth if you look for it.  It is one of those stories that you can read more than once…maybe pick it up a couple of years down the road and re-discover its simple joy.  That’s the word, simple.  It’s a simple, quiet story.  It doesn’t take you by storm, but it has a gentle sort of homey appeal that’s just right for a vacation-worthy novel.

~Amy Whittaker

Now, because it would have looked funny to sign my own initials under the fake name, I had to write this sentence so it seems a little less funny.  =)

~c. a.


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