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dhaupt
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Re: Questions for Corinne Demas

Corinne, thank you for sharing your novel with us before the "world" sees it. The previous posters have mostly taken my questions and I've learned what I wanted to know by your gracious answers.

I'm not a big fan of a novel being told by many voices I like that one perspective telling us what we need to know, so in that respect the first few chapters I needed to re-read to get the gist of. But the second set of chapters went much more smoothly so I guess you really can teach an old dog new tricks.

It's been mentioned by a few people how you must have had the dictionary open at all times because of our need to refer to it to learn the meaning of a word that you've used which seems to be more than the usual for me.

I thought it might be because your characters were all literary nerds so they tended to out word each other. Was I on the mark, or did you have another reason for that type of dialogue.

I'm enjoying the read Corinne

Thanks again

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DiniB
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Re: Questions for Corinne Demas

Hi Corinne,

 

Do you find a piece of yourself in each one of the characters?

 

Corinne-Demas wrote:

Thanks for your great questions.

My characters are all drawn from people I meet-- but it's a bit from one and a bit from another.  No character is based entirely on someone real.

Because this is a novel, naturally I'm drawing on some of the "dysfunctional" (or eccentric) aspects of the characters-- there's not much conflict or "story" when everyone is functioning perfectly. 

But what do you think about Rachel?  or Virginia?  and Nancy?  Are they "dysfunctional"?

 

Goodreads ID: dinib
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literature
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Re: Questions for Corinne Demas

Hi Corinne,

 

Welcome to our "readers" circle for The Writers Circle.  I'm almost finiished with this week's reading and have a few questions:

 

Gillian chapter, at her Christmas party:  Why did you make special mention that Gillian's "bare feet" made soft noises when she was showing Adam the upstairs in her house?  You then mentioned Adam's footsteps made noise.  (Sorry, the computer with the digital book is at home; otherwise, I would cite the page number.)  What purpose do the bare feet have, if any?  (Now I feel like a participant in The Writers Circle.)

 

In your descriptions of people, there were a number of call outs about people with blond hair.  I remember this in the first week's reading.  This week's reading was when you described Kim upon her arrival at Gillian's and then again when Chris was reading his revised section (the lawyer) at Nancy's house.

 

Another thing I noticed that is repeated is touching of hair, i.e. Gillian touched Adam's hair when he was sitting at her desk during the Christmas party; then when Chris and Nancy were leaving from lunch (last week's reading), Chris had touched Nancy's hair when Nancy told him about wearing the helmet when horseback riding.

 

Literature

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maxcat
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Re: Questions for Corinne Demas

Welcome, Corrine, glad you can join us as we criticize your work. I felt lost in the first 8 chapters. it's as if there were too many characters and lots of mini-plots. Did you mean to make these chapters somewhat disjointed or dysfunctional? Also, where did you get the idea about Gillian? No one seems to like her understandably in the book, but there are lots in this group that don't like her also. Thank you for your time, Chris.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost
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thewanderingjew
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Re: Questions for Corinne Demas

1-I do feel that Nancy is not quite together. Her parents were divorced. Although today that might not be considered dysfunctional because it is so common, it might have caused what seems like a "soft" anger or resentment toward her mom. She idolized her dad while her mom seems to be kind of an annoyance. She is insecure in her relationship with Oates. She had an odd relationship with her dad. She kept secrets from her mom and was closer to him. His secret life had to have some effect on her formative years. Secrets seem to be a theme here. She doesn't seem close to her mom. Daughters usually gravitate to the mother after a certain age which leads me to believe that there was some dysfunction in her relationship with her mom. She speaks warmly of memories of her grandparents but does not speak much of her mom unless it is in a negative voice. I think I remember that Oates is a bit older than she is and that might indicate her need to find a father figure. Of course, I am reading into this and it might not have anything to do with the character you created.

2-I don't think I know enough about Rachel yet, to comment on her very well but she seems caring and has her heart in the right place. She isn't afraid to speak out for what she believes in but she  also has a need to please everyone, at her own expense, sometimes.

Interestingly, her parents are divorced too. Her father remarried someone much younger, her brother married someone much older.

3-Virginia is Rachel's mom and she seems the most normal. She is a caring mom looking forward to being a grandmother. She is not longing for her lost youth. She is a loving wife to her second husband and seems absolutely happy and content. She is also a fine writer. She seems to be following the primrose path.

Only time will tell what happens to each of these characters.

 

4-I have to wonder how much of our interpretation was your intent and how much is our fantasy as we read! Can you let us in on that secret?

Corinne-Demas wrote:

Thanks for your great questions.

My characters are all drawn from people I meet-- but it's a bit from one and a bit from another.  No character is based entirely on someone real.

Because this is a novel, naturally I'm drawing on some of the "dysfunctional" (or eccentric) aspects of the characters-- there's not much conflict or "story" when everyone is functioning perfectly. 

But what do you think about Rachel?  or Virginia?  and Nancy?  Are they "dysfunctional"?

 

 

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Corinne-Demas
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Re: Questions for Corinne Demas

Debbie-- Ah, yes, they're all literary nerds.  I guess I'm one, too! I love words-- I think most writers do.

While I was working on The Writing Circle, I didn't hunt for unusual words in a thesaurus, but I did (as always) put a lot of thought into word selection. I read my work aloud, and write for the ear as well as for the meaning. 

Some people think college English professors don't need to look things up in the dictionary, but I often come across unfamiliar words in bookst I'm reading.  What I usually do is make a mark in the margin, then look up the word later. I keep a little notebook with new words in it.  

Some recent additions?  "sculpin " and   "fustian."

 

--Corinne

 

dhaupt wrote:

Corinne, thank you for sharing your novel with us before the "world" sees it. The previous posters have mostly taken my questions and I've learned what I wanted to know by your gracious answers.

I'm not a big fan of a novel being told by many voices I like that one perspective telling us what we need to know, so in that respect the first few chapters I needed to re-read to get the gist of. But the second set of chapters went much more smoothly so I guess you really can teach an old dog new tricks.

It's been mentioned by a few people how you must have had the dictionary open at all times because of our need to refer to it to learn the meaning of a word that you've used which seems to be more than the usual for me.

I thought it might be because your characters were all literary nerds so they tended to out word each other. Was I on the mark, or did you have another reason for that type of dialogue.

I'm enjoying the read Corinne

Thanks again

 

 

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Corinne-Demas
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Re: Questions for Corinne Demas

It's more that I try to inhabit each of the characters while I'm working on their part of the story.  

But I'm sure all of my characters inevitably have something of me in them (even if it's nothing more than the way they hold a mug of tea.)

 

--Corinne

 

DiniB wrote:

Hi Corinne,

 

Do you find a piece of yourself in each one of the characters?

 

Corinne-Demas wrote:

Thanks for your great questions.

My characters are all drawn from people I meet-- but it's a bit from one and a bit from another.  No character is based entirely on someone real.

Because this is a novel, naturally I'm drawing on some of the "dysfunctional" (or eccentric) aspects of the characters-- there's not much conflict or "story" when everyone is functioning perfectly. 

But what do you think about Rachel?  or Virginia?  and Nancy?  Are they "dysfunctional"?

 

 

 

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Corinne-Demas
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Registered: ‎04-07-2010
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Re: Questions for Corinne Demas

Hi-- what interesting observations!

Gillian's bare feet are intended to be seductive (to Adam) -- how do you see them?

 

I hadn't been aware of the hair touching you pointed out.

Kim and Nancy's blondness is in contrast to Gillian's dark hair.  Keep that vision of Kim in mind as you get to the end of the story.

 

--Corinne

 

 

 

 

literature wrote:

Hi Corinne,

 

Welcome to our "readers" circle for The Writers Circle.  I'm almost finiished with this week's reading and have a few questions:

 

Gillian chapter, at her Christmas party:  Why did you make special mention that Gillian's "bare feet" made soft noises when she was showing Adam the upstairs in her house?  You then mentioned Adam's footsteps made noise.  (Sorry, the computer with the digital book is at home; otherwise, I would cite the page number.)  What purpose do the bare feet have, if any?  (Now I feel like a participant in The Writers Circle.)

 

In your descriptions of people, there were a number of call outs about people with blond hair.  I remember this in the first week's reading.  This week's reading was when you described Kim upon her arrival at Gillian's and then again when Chris was reading his revised section (the lawyer) at Nancy's house.

 

Another thing I noticed that is repeated is touching of hair, i.e. Gillian touched Adam's hair when he was sitting at her desk during the Christmas party; then when Chris and Nancy were leaving from lunch (last week's reading), Chris had touched Nancy's hair when Nancy told him about wearing the helmet when horseback riding.

 

Literature

 

 

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Corinne-Demas
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Re: Questions for Corinne Demas

Hi Chris--

 

Several of you have commented on the number of characters.  I wonder if it's harder to follow a novel like this if you're reading it electronically, rather than in a conventional book where it's easier to flip back through the pages and easier to mark paragraphs you might want to refer to.

Maybe this is something the group would like to address.  Are their some kinds of books that are better suited to electronic reading than others?  Simpler, more linear narratives perhaps?

 

It occurs to me that it might help readers to think of the form of this book as replicating the way we get to know people and figure out situations in real life. We get partial stories and have to piece things together to make sense of the whole.  I hope by the end of the novel you'll see what I was trying to accomplish and the method will make more sense.

Thank you for sticking with it!

 

About Gillian-- perhaps you're not supposed to like her. . .

 

--Corinne

 

 

maxcat wrote:

Welcome, Corrine, glad you can join us as we criticize your work. I felt lost in the first 8 chapters. it's as if there were too many characters and lots of mini-plots. Did you mean to make these chapters somewhat disjointed or dysfunctional? Also, where did you get the idea about Gillian? No one seems to like her understandably in the book, but there are lots in this group that don't like her also. Thank you for your time, Chris.

 

 

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Corinne-Demas
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Re: Questions for Corinne Demas

Thank you for all this!

 

thewanderingjew wrote:

1-I do feel that Nancy is not quite together. Her parents were divorced. Although today that might not be considered dysfunctional because it is so common, it might have caused what seems like a "soft" anger or resentment toward her mom. She idolized her dad while her mom seems to be kind of an annoyance. She is insecure in her relationship with Oates. She had an odd relationship with her dad. She kept secrets from her mom and was closer to him. His secret life had to have some effect on her formative years. Secrets seem to be a theme here. She doesn't seem close to her mom. Daughters usually gravitate to the mother after a certain age which leads me to believe that there was some dysfunction in her relationship with her mom. She speaks warmly of memories of her grandparents but does not speak much of her mom unless it is in a negative voice. I think I remember that Oates is a bit older than she is and that might indicate her need to find a father figure. Of course, I am reading into this and it might not have anything to do with the character you created.

2-I don't think I know enough about Rachel yet, to comment on her very well but she seems caring and has her heart in the right place. She isn't afraid to speak out for what she believes in but she  also has a need to please everyone, at her own expense, sometimes.

Interestingly, her parents are divorced too. Her father remarried someone much younger, her brother married someone much older.

3-Virginia is Rachel's mom and she seems the most normal. She is a caring mom looking forward to being a grandmother. She is not longing for her lost youth. She is a loving wife to her second husband and seems absolutely happy and content. She is also a fine writer. She seems to be following the primrose path.

Only time will tell what happens to each of these characters.

 

4-I have to wonder how much of our interpretation was your intent and how much is our fantasy as we read! Can you let us in on that secret?

Corinne-Demas wrote:

Thanks for your great questions.

My characters are all drawn from people I meet-- but it's a bit from one and a bit from another.  No character is based entirely on someone real.

Because this is a novel, naturally I'm drawing on some of the "dysfunctional" (or eccentric) aspects of the characters-- there's not much conflict or "story" when everyone is functioning perfectly. 

But what do you think about Rachel?  or Virginia?  and Nancy?  Are they "dysfunctional"?

 

 

 

 

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Vermontcozy
Posts: 5,276
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Re: Questions for Corinne Demas

Good Morning.Corinne,.I am reading The Writing Circle on my Blackberry  A first time experience.Being so used to hard copies,its been an experiment for me.I think if I had a nook,it might be a bit easier..But even though I am so used to holding a book,I can flip back and forth and bookmark and change font size..I am so looking forward to Monday..I am probably in the minority,but I do not dislike Gillian..Just understanding her..If because she is "out there"..and men are attracted to her,its not her fault entirely now is it? Susan Vtc...

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
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pen21
Posts: 3,648
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Re: Questions for Corinne Demas

Corinne,

As far as the number of characters, on the nook it has been fine. I have had no major difficulty. I approached the book a little like the character Nancy. Nancy is meeting these people (except Bernard) for the first time. Nancy has a lot to learn about each of them, their families, etc. Just like a reader will learn as the story continues. So it like each chapter is a layer. I don't want to rush to learn everything, but just see what that layer has to offer.

pen21

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Corinne-Demas
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Re: Questions for Corinne Demas

I love your notion of "layering."  Thank you!

 

--Corinne

 

pen21 wrote:

Corinne,

As far as the number of characters, on the nook it has been fine. I have had no major difficulty. I approached the book a little like the character Nancy. Nancy is meeting these people (except Bernard) for the first time. Nancy has a lot to learn about each of them, their families, etc. Just like a reader will learn as the story continues. So it like each chapter is a layer. I don't want to rush to learn everything, but just see what that layer has to offer.

pen21

 

 

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Corinne-Demas
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Re: Questions for Corinne Demas

Good morning to you!

I'm impressed that you're taking on this novel on your Blackberry.

My hope with Gillian is that readers will be intrigued by the character, even if she isn't the kind of woman they would like if she were a real person.

 

Vermontcozy wrote:

Good Morning.Corinne,.I am reading The Writing Circle on my Blackberry  A first time experience.Being so used to hard copies,its been an experiment for me.I think if I had a nook,it might be a bit easier..But even though I am so used to holding a book,I can flip back and forth and bookmark and change font size..I am so looking forward to Monday..I am probably in the minority,but I do not dislike Gillian..Just understanding her..If because she is "out there"..and men are attracted to her,its not her fault entirely now is it? Susan Vtc...

 

 

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MSaff
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Re: Questions for Corinne Demas

Hi Corinne and welcome to our little corner of the world. 

 

  It is such an honor to be some of the first to read your novel.  I am especially enjoying the story and I have already love to hate some of them and love others.  I really like the character of Nancy and was wondering how you came up with the story line?  My other question is this,  Is your novel idea taken from a group that you may be part of, or was it something that came to you from another source?

  I look forward to hearing back from you and I hope you enjoy the discussion.

 

 

Mike
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." Dr. Seuss
http://travelswithcarsandbooks.blogspot.com/
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tnbsmommy
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Re: Questions for Corinne Demas

Thank you for your time, and also for allowing us to read your novel first. I wanted to comment and say one of the biggest things that irk me when reading a book is the dialogue. I have a hard time sticking with a story that isn't told in the way normal conversation flows in real life. I'll admit there were a few moments reading The Writing Circle when I would think "Real people do not talk that way", however, the more I read and got to know the characters, I could picture their conversation flowing the way you told it.

 

I do have questions, but I don't want to spoil the ending for those who haven't read it yet, so I'll wait until everyone catches up to ask them! Thank you again!

 

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rujama
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Re: Questions for Corinne Demas

 

Corinne-Demas wrote:

Hi Chris--

 

Several of you have commented on the number of characters.  I wonder if it's harder to follow a novel like this if you're reading it electronically, rather than in a conventional book where it's easier to flip back through the pages and easier to mark paragraphs you might want to refer to.

Maybe this is something the group would like to address.  Are their some kinds of books that are better suited to electronic reading than others?  Simpler, more linear narratives perhaps?

 

It occurs to me that it might help readers to think of the form of this book as replicating the way we get to know people and figure out situations in real life. We get partial stories and have to piece things together to make sense of the whole.  I hope by the end of the novel you'll see what I was trying to accomplish and the method will make more sense.

Thank you for sticking with it!

 

About Gillian-- perhaps you're not supposed to like her. . .

 

--Corinne

 

 

maxcat wrote:

Welcome, Corrine, glad you can join us as we criticize your work. I felt lost in the first 8 chapters. it's as if there were too many characters and lots of mini-plots. Did you mean to make these chapters somewhat disjointed or dysfunctional? Also, where did you get the idea about Gillian? No one seems to like her understandably in the book, but there are lots in this group that don't like her also. Thank you for your time, Chris.

 

 

 

 

I've been using my Nook to read the novel so I can not speak for the others that are reading on the computer, for me it has been easier to read this writing style on the Nook. I can bookmark pages that I question and then just hit "bookmarks" in the menu and I can see all the pages that I have marked. I can also hit "go to". I can also highlight and add notes to any of the pages. Looking up the words that I'm questioning is easier for me also because it's all in one area. I can also go to specific chapters and with the search function I can find what I am looking for quite easy. I've been using my nook for a while and it has become easy and natural for me to use it this way. I have so many bookmarks and notes that I refer to all the time and it gives me a better understanding of what I am reading. For me it is easier to find something with the Nook then having to flip through all my "dog ears" and markings on the paper page. 

 

Just my opinion, 

Jacquie

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literature
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Re: Questions for Corinne Demas

Hi Corinne,

Unless Adam noticed her bare feet, it was completely lost on him, and since you never made mention of Adam noticing it, I guess Gillian had to go to plan D.  Plan D, Gillian told Adam to sit down at her desk and smell the wood.  He puts his head down on her desk.  She fondles his hair.  Plan C, go bare foot when you take him upstairs, walk through bedroom to show him office.  Plan B, wear ankle length, black velvet dress, it's cut low and so tight he could see my hip bones.   Plan A, invite Adam to Christmas party.  I just figured Gillian going bare foot was just Gillian being Gillian.

 

 

Corinne-Demas wrote:

Hi-- what interesting observations!

Gillian's bare feet are intended to be seductive (to Adam) -- how do you see them?

 

I hadn't been aware of the hair touching you pointed out.

Kim and Nancy's blondness is in contrast to Gillian's dark hair.  Keep that vision of Kim in mind as you get to the end of the story.

 

--Corinne

 

 

 

 

literature wrote:

Hi Corinne,

 

Welcome to our "readers" circle for The Writers Circle.  I'm almost finiished with this week's reading and have a few questions:

 

Gillian chapter, at her Christmas party:  Why did you make special mention that Gillian's "bare feet" made soft noises when she was showing Adam the upstairs in her house?  You then mentioned Adam's footsteps made noise.  (Sorry, the computer with the digital book is at home; otherwise, I would cite the page number.)  What purpose do the bare feet have, if any?  (Now I feel like a participant in The Writers Circle.)

 

In your descriptions of people, there were a number of call outs about people with blond hair.  I remember this in the first week's reading.  This week's reading was when you described Kim upon her arrival at Gillian's and then again when Chris was reading his revised section (the lawyer) at Nancy's house.

 

Another thing I noticed that is repeated is touching of hair, i.e. Gillian touched Adam's hair when he was sitting at her desk during the Christmas party; then when Chris and Nancy were leaving from lunch (last week's reading), Chris had touched Nancy's hair when Nancy told him about wearing the helmet when horseback riding.

 

Literature

 

 

 

Wordsmith
literature
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Questions for Corinne Demas

At first I wasn't thrilled with the short snippets of descriptions for each character/chapter nor was I thrilled with an electronic book.  But the more I think about it, this form does make it easier to go back to reread about that character, so I'm okay with it.  As far as reading it on my computer, well, that's another story.

Literature

 

 

 

Corinne-Demas wrote:

Hi Chris--

 

Several of you have commented on the number of characters.  I wonder if it's harder to follow a novel like this if you're reading it electronically, rather than in a conventional book where it's easier to flip back through the pages and easier to mark paragraphs you might want to refer to.

Maybe this is something the group would like to address.  Are their some kinds of books that are better suited to electronic reading than others?  Simpler, more linear narratives perhaps?

 

It occurs to me that it might help readers to think of the form of this book as replicating the way we get to know people and figure out situations in real life. We get partial stories and have to piece things together to make sense of the whole.  I hope by the end of the novel you'll see what I was trying to accomplish and the method will make more sense.

Thank you for sticking with it!

 

About Gillian-- perhaps you're not supposed to like her. . .

 

--Corinne

 

 

maxcat wrote:

Welcome, Corrine, glad you can join us as we criticize your work. I felt lost in the first 8 chapters. it's as if there were too many characters and lots of mini-plots. Did you mean to make these chapters somewhat disjointed or dysfunctional? Also, where did you get the idea about Gillian? No one seems to like her understandably in the book, but there are lots in this group that don't like her also. Thank you for your time, Chris.

 

 

 

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maxcat
Posts: 4,011
Registered: ‎11-01-2006
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Re: Questions for Corinne Demas

Thank you, Corrine for your response and yes, I do find it difficult to read this book electronically. I have had to make numerous notes about the characters as it's hard to go through a nook even if you use bookmarks. I found myself re-reading the preface as a lot of different comments were made concerning that section. I feel that if this book was in a bookstore, I probably would pick it up to read rather than download it.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost