Book Jacket

 

rank 5940
word count 11606
date submitted 16.05.2010
date updated 23.01.2011
genres: Fiction, Literary Fiction, Crime
classification: adult
incomplete

This Bird Flew Away {revised and reformated}

Lynda M. Martin

This Bird Flew Away is scheduled for release on the Black Rose imprint, January 27, 2011. Thanks for your support. Look for it in January!

 

What is real love? The whole world wants to know. They should ask Bria Jean, because she has it all figured out. Opinionated, stubborn and full of woe, Bria would tell you real love is having one person you can always count on through thick and thin. For her, that’s Jack. And it doesn’t matter to her that she’s nine and he’s twenty-three -- not one bit.

When, at the age of twelve, Bria disappears, he and his Aunt Mary search for her, and when she surfaces, injured, abused and traumatized, Jack fights to become her guardian with no idea of the trials ahead of him. By then, Bria is thirteen going on thirty, full of her own ideas on how her life should run and with some very fixed notions about who is in charge.

This work was edited by New York Times bestselling author, Kathryn Lynn Davis, who writes, “This is a tender, wrenching, funny, brilliantly written novel about so many kinds of courage, so many layers of beauty and strength, and the bonds of family (however unique they may be) that help us survive even the worst life makes us suffer.”

 
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tags

, adventure, child protection work, child sex abuse, effects on girls, family love, healing, healing process, hope, love, recovery, redemption, rodeos...

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88 comments

 

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CarolinaAl wrote 1413 days ago

A well thought out thriller. Empathetic, well-drawn characters. Vivid settings. True-to-life dialogue. Insightful narrative. Remarkable writing. A fabuloud read. Backed.

lmmartin wrote 1435 days ago

If you are using Black Rose Imprints, then you should get some good marketing, as the company has a long history in Montreal.
My book is a childrens' book, but any comments / backing would be greatfully received.
Jerry [paperbats]



Thank you Jerry, but this Black Rose is in the U.S. -- still hope to get some good support. Like all authors, much of the promotion will be on my shoulders, but this is true even if published by the biggest of publishing houses. Thanks again Lynda

paperbat wrote 1435 days ago

If you are using Black Rose Imprints, then you should get some good marketing, as the company has a long history in Montreal.
My book is a childrens' book, but any comments / backing would be greatfully received.
Jerry [paperbats]

GK Stritch wrote 1435 days ago

Dear Lynda M. Martin,

I hesitated to read about child sex abuse. I worked for the Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS) for one day and went home and quit. After reading your “me” page, I returned to This Bird Flew Away. I started to read: so real, so intelligent, and the suspense starts to build. Poor Bria Jean. I read the first chapter but will have to come back to read more and find out what Jack is up to.

Best and backed.

GK Stritch
CBGB Was My High School

memphisgirl wrote 1435 days ago

Gifted writing, lives rendered in dialogue and private thoughts. The energy of authentic-feeling relationships comes through.

Memphisgirl
Ashes By Now

Andrew Burans wrote 1439 days ago

You have finely crafted a most compellying and gritty storyline. Your use of short paragreaphs and crisp, well written dialogue keeps the pace of your story flowing well. Your character development of Bria and Jack is excellent as is your use of imagery. All of this coupled with your descriptive writing makes your work a pleasure to read. Backed.

Andrew Burans
The Reluctant Warrior: The Beginning

K A Smith wrote 1445 days ago

Nicely written and paced, quite gripping, plenty to think about. The characterisation and the dialogue makes for easy reading, sometimes maybe too easy as I think there could be more uncomfortable moments. Probably that's just me (or maybe I'm such a hardened cynic I missed them). Good luck with this, and thank you.

MickR wrote 1475 days ago

Lynda,
I found Bria to be a likeable Mc that should be able to hold a readers interest. The situation in the opening paragraph came off a very real, and you do a good job of seeing a grown up setting through a child’s eyes.
I jotted down a few notes on things to look for to possibly make the prose a bit smoother. They are of course only my opinion.

Ch1
Opening line – either:
According to Auntie Peg, if you couldn’t hear my voice then I must have had my nose in a book.
Or -
According to Auntie Peg, if you [can’t] hear my voice then I must have my face in a book.

Next sentence:
That’s exactly how Jack found me, in the basement of his father’s house curled up in a chair with Nancy’s Mysterious Letter.

His eyes crinkled up as if he secretly laughed. [at me inside] isn’t needed. We can figure that out by the secretly part.

MickR - The Nightcrawler

KClark64 wrote 1481 days ago

I read the first chapter, which I really liked. You write very well, and a lot of it is understated, as it should be.

Here are a couple of little suggestions:

"Nancy's Mysterious Letter" use either italics or quotes but not both
"over dressed" to "over-dressed"
You use the word "sated" at one point. That's a very unusual word, which a ten-year old probably wouldn't know. (She doesn't know "precocious".) If this is supposed to be an older person looking back, it's okay, but otherwise you might change the word.

Regards,
Kevin Clark
(Will of God; Numbers Up)

Manolya wrote 1483 days ago

Hi Lynda,

Your pitch and tags made me want to read more. There are so many layers here which makes your book both enjoyable to read, and thought provoking. I think so many people will relate to your characters, as you bring them to life so well as you set the scene beautifully.
Backed with pleasure!

Warm regards,
Manolya- Love in No-Man's Land

Bamboo Promise wrote 1484 days ago

When your book has been edited by a the Best Selling author it is well polished. I do not see anything I should criticize you at all. Just by reading the first chapter only I have a feeling your book is ready to be published. You shouldn't worry about hearing any feedback from the members in this site. You are ready to be published. This is my honest comment. I won't expect you to back my book at this time. I wish you would back it. I hope you can help me to get the same author to edit my book if you don't mind. I would like to back your book to applaud your success.
Bamboo Promise

jamesmac wrote 1485 days ago

Flawless! Well polished, professional storytelling of the highest calibre as far as I’m concerned.
The feeling of wound up emotion this reader experienced from young Bria’s tale was very intense.
Abuse! neglect!
It’s never a comfortable subject to deal with Lynda, but you handle it with careful, skilful attention to detail, and an empathy that comes from many years experience in the combating of this terrible human condition.
I thought I was the hard-bitten writer of ‘real-narrative.’ I thought nothing could penetrate this thick Hyde of mine - but the girl’s horrifying treatment in chapter seven had me in need of a break from the computer screen, and a coffee to calm the nerves - no, not the nerves exactly - the anger.
Anger, in that I know this is a very close fictional portrayal of the truth.
From the beginning; Jack - the girl’s first crush, and the man who will be her eventual saviour - comes across as a very warm, sympathetic character - and an indication of him being the victim of physical abuse himself, makes Jack the ideal confidant for the girl.
There’s a very strong sense of the girls intelligence, and her own good nature overcoming the abandonment by her mother and the wretched situation she’s in.
Your brilliant writing takes the reader on Bria’s journey - one that stretches over a period of twenty years and two great countries - from the hopelessness of sexual abuse, to the heights of personal achievement and love. We cheer for her - applaud her - laugh and cry with her.
An epic family saga - it is heaped with well crafted, narrative. Tear-filled, insightful, and clever - This Bird Flew Away is traumatic, intelligent, determined, and ultimately triumphant.
Bria’s story is one everybody should read and take thoughtful note of.

Thanks for your patience Lynda.
James

Christa Wojo wrote 1491 days ago

Awful to be witness to all of Bria's experiences, but these are stories that must be told. It was painful, but not pitiful. Bria is a tender, innocent yet intelligent and brave young girl/woman.

A few things that, in my opinion, took away from the story. I thought the book would have read better from Bria's perspective and then maybe a third person. I feel Mary's POV competes with Bria's, whose narrative, I feel, would have more impact as the only 1st person thread. Also, when juggling the narratives, it was hard for me to figure out who was related to who and how they went about sending Bria and her sister back and forth for care. E.g. Unless I missed it, I had no idea who Jess was to Bria, until much later than I would have liked.

But, all in all, this book has been on my shelf for several days. First, because I was captivated by the relationship between Bria and Jack. Then, I was impressed with the way you depicted her coping with her situation. Later, I was shocked when I got to chapter 10 (and revolted, which I am sure is what you intended). I wish you had more downloaded. Athough the subject is severe, the underlying themes of bravery and tenderness make it touching.

Absolutely backed,
Christa

P.S. Great cover!



Luke Bramley wrote 1492 days ago

Okay, wow, backed. Luke.

happypetronella wrote 1494 days ago

One great story, at times intense as in chapter 10, which is very well written. Actually all of it is well written. Bria is a believable child to me. One thing that threw me off a bit at first was that there was more than one first person narrator in the story - Bria and Mary.

Backed

celticwriter wrote 1495 days ago

chapter 10 - wow....as in.... WOW.....you caught me at the first sentence and didn't let me go. I was there, observing, watching, and wanting to save the girl and at the same time kill the animal of a man at the same time. I forgot I was reading. WOW....... I don't think I took a breath.

name falied moderation wrote 1497 days ago

Hello Lynda, your short pitch is incredible, like I really like the first sentence. In the full pitch you start with proposing a question or two and I wanted to answer them so of course I was going to read the book just to see. The full pitch grabbed me. Your book is not one I would normally have opened, but you got me. now your characters are playing with my head....BACKED.......My book is of a different genre but that is the beauty of this site, and if you could 'review' and 'comment' and BACK it, I would be so happy. Again BEST OF LUCK with your book

Denise
The Letter

Su Dan wrote 1498 days ago

the title and pitch, lets us know what this about..moving and very interesting; watchlist for now...
read SEASONS...

JD Revene wrote 1501 days ago

Lynda,

Great pitch, a little different from the norm, but covering all the bases and certainly leaving me wanting to read more.

A couple of points you might like to consider, though I am no expert:

--in the short pitch I wonder whether 'a funeral' wouldn't be better than 'the funeral', a pedantic point, but 'the funeral' appears to refer back to something we, thus far, know nothing of; and

--in the second para of the long pitch I'd be inclined to replace the first 'he' with 'Jack', but that's really a matter of personal opinion.

Okay, into the work proper. The opening sentence is wonderful, just a few words, but giving immediate insight to the narrator. Great stuff.

In the next sentence, though, you have 'he'--a pronoun with no point of reference (all I know at this stage is that it can't refer to Auntie Peg). Using John's name here would allow you to avoid the slightly artificial dialogue where the characters introduce each other.

But this is a really great first chapter. The characters are strong and the action and tension develops steadily. There's a good narrative voice too. For me the close PoV and the spare dialogues are the strongest parts.

And there's the odd place where you filter that close PoV--an example might be:

. . . I said, secretly relieved my insult hadn't hurt his feelings,

And other places where you go into Bria's head, but through reportage rather than interior dialogue or straight narration.

These spots are few and far between, but, for me, they jarred a little because in the main the PoV is so tight.

Chapter two, and the switch in PoV, is equally well done. Again very strong dialogue. You continue building the story and the tension in a well structured arc.

Little to comment on in this chapter, except perhaps that I wonder if there couldn't be more differentiation between the narrative voices of Bria and Mary. Bria seems mature for her age, but I get that--given her circumstances--however, this maturity means she and Mary end up sounding quite a lot alike, at least to me (actually, that's probably not quite true, it's more that they don't sound different, if you know what I mean).

Well, I've read three chapters and this is really well structured and the writing's strong. Happy to give this a spin on my shelf.

Noel-Allen wrote 1503 days ago

Hi Lynda,

Chapters 1 and 2.

I thought this extremely well written. Bria starts to acquire a personality in the very first sentence, there’s a believable/natural feel to the interaction between her and Jack and the recollections regarding her mum and Gerry felt both ‘real’ and harrowing.


The following are just things that might or might not be worth considering:

I was a little surprised at how competent and emotionally intelligent Jack was for a twenty three year old.

I was surprised at the dynamic of Mary reasoning that Bria would more readily confide in Jack given that he’d not seen her for three years, whereas Mary apparently knew her quite well and uncovered the ‘damnation’ secret within minutes.

With regard to the two 1st person PoVs: If Jack remains a central character, the Bria — Mary shifts might end up relegating him to ‘3rd person outsider’ and harm the ability to give him depth.

.
Overall, I thought the quality of your writing was high and that your ability with dialogue quickly brought the story to life.


Noel

Robert Mourningstar wrote 1503 days ago

I am honestly reading you opening because of comments that Mongoose made about my book, Under the Veil of Darkness. I was curious if any of his crits were actually valid. So, I decided after see your response on his page to take a look at his crits of your book. I agree with his first statement about stumbling a bit over the "According to Aunt Peg..." and then you say "That's exactly how he found me." I was trying to tie back he with Aunt Peg at first. I had to read it again once just to make sure what you said was correct. Grammaticaly, it is good, but the flow of the story is some what broke. I disagree with his other statement. I personally think that the way you have it worded is better than his advice. I don't feel that your speech was stilted either, but I do agree your book is written very well. I'm happy to back. You can thank mongoose for giving me an unpleasant review. :)

Robert Mourningstar.

mongoose wrote 1504 days ago

I like your writing a lot. But I did stumble over the very beginning. 'According to Aunt Peg..' and then you say, 'That's exactly how he found me' - so we're struggling because we're expecting Aunt Peg. You know, I'd start it more simply - 'He found me, curled...' (but hey, that's my thought and this is your book!).
I also tripped over the line 'Of course, your name is Jack.' To my ear, it needed a full stop for the sense to come over clearly. 'Of course. Your name is Jack.' (or maybe even 'You're Jack'). I did feel that some of the speech felt a little stilted. But really it's all nit-picking as you do write very well on the whole and this is a compelling character-led story. I'm happy to back.

drachat wrote 1504 days ago

What can I say, this is well-crafted and sad. To think of what Bria went through, you paint a vivid picture of a typical 10-year old and her mannerisms, yet show her adult side in what she's seen.

Very good read, easy to follow. Wish I had time to finish but I will pick it up down the road to see how Jack helps her along.

Happily Backed
Denise

Would you mind having a peek at "Road to Redemption: From Cop's Daughter to Convicted Felon"?

HarrietG wrote 1507 days ago

I found this difficult to read - but how could such a story make easy reading? That such things are possible is a black stain upon humanity. The credit is yours that your prose is lucid and flowing and so there is nothing standing between the reader and the story; and that the worst men can do is balanced by the best. The characters speak for themselves and the time taken in delicate depiction of the relationship developed between Bria and Jack built in chapter one is necessary for what will follow later (tho' I do wish more had been posted - this is beginning to be a common gripe of mine about books on this site). I also liked the different voices, and the thoughts in counterpoint to words. It's very vivid, very sensitive. Normally I shy away from 'issues' based fiction (preferring to read for purposes of escapism) but this I can admire. I did wonder about the rape - not the detail (if it happened, it happened, and it is of its nature brutal and revolting - why flinch and turn away?) but that it was a standalone chapter. I think I'd have preferred to have it embedded in a context. This might be a side-effect of the Authonomy formatting rather than your original ms.

Best wishes with this, Harriet

Vanessa Darnleigh wrote 1507 days ago

The characters are established quickly through the use of well crafted and realistic dialogue...very well written indeed...should do very well
Stewart

toscka wrote 1510 days ago

Hi, I just read your long first chapter (a gap in the day job) and will get back for more when the work eases off. I have a couple of major comments:

1. Your narrator has a tendency to comment on every piece of dialogue. Now, to some extent it works - we are in her head, the overly analytical head of the very bright child (and I have nothing but praise for the voice) - but I think you overdo it. To comment sometimes creates the above impression. To comment all the time leaves no room for the reader. It becomes intrusive and, frankly, shades into telling rather than showing. You could cut alot of it back and just leave enough to give us her character while letting the dialogue flow. For example, you might like to cut:

"Astonished I glanced up...."
"He leaned forward peering at me intently"
"he pointed out, deflating me..." Particularly this one. The dialogue is clearly deflating. We don't need her to tell us it as well (i.e. let the dialogue do the work)
"I blurted out, shocked to my cure etc"

There are others. I would read it through again with an eye as to which of her interjections you could cut.

2. I like the fact that through half of this chapter we get the idea that there is a funeral, but that she isn't mentioning it. That she isn't bothered, but, I was thinking, she is, but this is her coping mechanism. I think you can have more suggestion that there is a funeral going on eary on (is the first mention when her mother wants her to eat? If so, put one in earlier). Also, could you not continue ignoring the subject rather than so swiftly saying he's not my dad - or at least have her being more reticent with Jack.

I'm afraid I began to lose interest a bit with the Jack conversation. The chapter was too long (perhaps that is just a modern trait i.e. to keep them shorter), but primarily because the conversation was very expositional; there was too much filling in on back story and less of what I had previously enjoyed and wanted more of: the sense that this was a girl at a funeral with the adults in mourning while she sticks to the details, the book, the food, as if nothing is wrong, or she doesn't quite know how to to treat the situation.

Hope this helps, or is food for thought.

A.P. Constantin wrote 1510 days ago

I admire the way you build the connection between the child and her adult friend in the first chapter and you gradually give it depth. Then the vivid and, at the same time, sensitive way you tell us about the harrowing experiences at this tender age, capped by the most brutal abuse.

If I had any suggestions for improvement, it would be to make the dialogue a bit shorter in the first chapter. It might drag just a bit more than it would be ideal. Also, on some occasions Brie's talk is a bit too adult for her age. Life experience obviously has given her a head start on maturity but she still has the innocence that needs to show through.

And, by the way, great cover!

I would have loved to read further in your book to see how you handle the healing of the 13-year old Bria. She may not be a woman but she is no longer a child. I would love to know how the Adult Male can stay close.

AP Constantin

The Crystal Butterfly Club

lmmartin wrote 1515 days ago

Fair Critters Group F. I would seriously consider pushing the novel further back in time than 1967 to a more 'innocent' age such as the 1940s or even earlier. As it is, in the age of the sexual revolution and books such as 'Lolita', I doubt if a 10 year old girl would be encouraged to talk to, let alone make friends with an older male of 23. Lewis Carol had a close friendship with a girl who inspired him to write 'Alice in Wonderland', but today such a friendship would be frowned upon.

Some of the dialogue also comes across as quaint and of a much earlier age: "Though I have exceedingly little appetite." Bria certainly does come across as very old headed for a 10 year old.

Otherwise, you are a very talented writer and brave to take on a subject so complex on so many levels. Laith



Thanks for the comment. I don't usually reply to these comments but feel I must to this one. 1967 was a time of relative innocence compared to today, and certainly one in which familial relations would never have been viewed with suspicion. Particularly on the conservative Canadian prairies. The sexual revolution didn't show up there for a long time to come. Also -- so's you know -- Lolita wasn't published until 1970. The atmosphere I describe is certainly true for that time and place. How do I know this? Because I lived them and know so. But that isn't what I wish to reply to. It is the remark that Bria's comments may be considered "old-headed." One thing true -- adults generally discount the maturity and intellect of children. "Precious little appetite" is something I borrowed from my younger granddaughter -- she is seven. The nine year old girl who lives behind me came by yesterday to tell me "Cain (her brother of 13) is decidedly stupid as one would expect for a boy." I worked with children -- traumatized, abused children for thirty years as a first responder in child protection, and I learned a long time ago never to discount what children are capable of doing and saying. By the way, this story is based on true and real events. Thanks again for taking the time to review This Bird.

Jeffbennington wrote 1515 days ago

This is painfully, sweet and sour and beautiful. Backed. Definitely, backed.

Jeffbennington wrote 1515 days ago

This is painfully, sweet and sour and beautiful. Backed. Definitely, backed.

Laith Doory wrote 1516 days ago

Fair Critters Group F. I would seriously consider pushing the novel further back in time than 1967 to a more 'innocent' age such as the 1940s or even earlier. As it is, in the age of the sexual revolution and books such as 'Lolita', I doubt if a 10 year old girl would be encouraged to talk to, let alone make friends with an older male of 23. Lewis Carol had a close friendship with a girl who inspired him to write 'Alice in Wonderland', but today such a friendship would be frowned upon.

Some of the dialogue also comes across as quaint and of a much earlier age: "Though I have exceedingly little appetite." Bria certainly does come across as very old headed for a 10 year old.

Otherwise, you are a very talented writer and brave to take on a subject so complex on so many levels. Laith

EltopiaAuthor wrote 1517 days ago

This is a little too scary for me to talk about but want you to know I am backing it.

Famlavan wrote 1518 days ago

There is a lot going on in this. I think your ability to capture mood and feelings is amazing. However the thing that I thought was absolutely brilliant is your use of dialogue, I think it makes the story come alive. – Good luck.

jfredlee wrote 1519 days ago

Hi, Lynda -

Good characters, good ear for dialogue.

Backed.

Best of luck with your book.

And when you have a chance, please take a look at mine.

-Jeff Lee
THE LADIES TEMPERANCE CLUB'S FAREWELL

Colin Normanshaw wrote 1521 days ago

Beautifauuly written. Your dialogue is so real that it brings your characters to life from the very start of your book. Backed with pleasure. Colin

NMoore wrote 1521 days ago

Ingrossing and interesting a more than a tad distrubing at times. But it all makes for a great read that you can't tear your eyes away from. Backed!

N.Moore
Vicar of Wrynbury

Cyndi Tefft wrote 1521 days ago

Fair Crit review

Thoughts on chapter 1:

The exchange about names “Your name is Jack, and mine is Bria” seems stilted, not like real dialogue, but like something the author put in there so the reader would know their names. Something more like ‘Yes, I remember you Jack,’ she said with heavy sarcasm. ‘And my name’s not Carrot Top. It’s Bria Jean’ would seem more realistic to me.

‘filled me with rage’- seems too strong a word, especially since a paragraph later, she is relieved not to have hurt his feelings.

String of adjectives in the sentence about her legs (multiple adjectives for three nouns in one sentence).

I liked the description of his smile, all off to one side.

Hand-holding scene, she snuggles up close to him. I have to admit, I am feeling a little weirded out that he’s 23 and she’s 10 and he’s holding her hand. It gets better as I read, but it did initially throw me off.

I find it a little strange that she doesn’t have a hard time repeating the swear words that Gerry said. I think a note about her struggling with that (since you aren’t supposed to swear in front of adults when you’re a kid, even though you know the words), should be inserted.

I get the intensity of emotions in the 10-year old, but it is a little exhausting. My comment on ‘rage’ earlier was the first, but there are several instances where the descriptions used are much stronger than the dialogue or situation would suggest. Perhaps that is what you are going for, however.

I really liked the last line of chapter one. It was very tender and touching.

Thoughts on chapter 2:

“No.” The single syllable shot out of her mouth as a scream. If she screamed it, it should have been “No!” or “NO!”

My mind reeled and… I would scratch that whole piece (beginning and end of the sentence) and simply put the part in italics. When you put it in italics, we know it’s something she’s thinking, so you don’t need to tell us that as well.

Mary describes Bria’s mother as a silly, flighty woman, which seems odd to me, since she must know that Gerry beat her. I wouldn’t use those words to describe an abused woman who stays with the man who beats her.

I liked chapter 2 very much. It seemed to flow much more smoothly than chapter 1, probably because I can relate more to the Mary character than to the child.

Thoughts on chapter 3:

I like my face up here on my head. – great line!

I have to admit that I spent the majority of chapter 3 wondering what in the heck happened. I wanted desperately to know what was going on, what had happened to her mom, to Mary, to Jack, that had landed her in this situation. When the explanation finally came, I was already so broken-hearted that I was just angry. So, you have played with my emotions well. It’s not what I wanted, but it was very effective. The last line sums it up well, and I am right there, too. I hope things start looking up from here, but somehow I doubt it.

Thoughts on chapter 4:

The various layers of me fell away… - beautiful writing

I love that you come up with a plan, some hope at this point. I need it.

‘utensils out carefully’ – typo

I believe overcooked is one word, not two.

Our Lady of the Proper Table Manners- I like how you interject humor through sarcasm in this bleak moment. Good stuff!

Sue McKenze at the library is a normal person, offering normal assistance and yet, in this setting, her simple kindness seems like sunshine itself. I’m impressed.

‘study carrels’ – I don’t know what this is.

‘She could be like that sometimes, almost a real person.’ One thing just occurred to me- why is Jess so awful? Does she have any story? It would give some depth to the situation if we had an idea of the source of her viciousness.

Really powerful ending to chapter 4.

Thoughts on chapter 5:

‘straight-looking’- that seemed an odd phrase to me, and I wasn’t sure what it meant.

Cyndi
Between

wespollet wrote 1521 days ago

Hi Lynda, What a gripping story of child slavery and abuse to children. This is, I'm sure a world wide problem. It is compelling and straight forward. I like it and I BACK the book. Harold Alvin(ICON) Wesley

silvafox wrote 1521 days ago

Great pitch and the story didn't disappoint. This is well written and gripping stuff. Backed.
Jennie
Lies and Betrayal

Beval wrote 1521 days ago

I think this is one of the most moving things I have read in a very long time. This account of a child's change through abuse at the hands of those who were supposed to be responsible for her care is shocking. At every turn those who would have cared for her and did want her are hampered and fobbed off.
Bria's final horror, sold to rapists by someone she trusted was horrific.
I read all you have posted and was in tears for most of it. Your writing is so soomth and so fluent and so sensative, but free from any taint of sentiment or mawkish slush. In Bria you have created such a brave, intelligent and lovely child.
I would like to think she emerges from this a strong, brave woman, scarred, but whole. My fear is that she has been so deeply wounded she will never be able to trust anyone ever again.

Cecil wrote 1521 days ago

Fair Critters F List

Hi. As asked, i have read chapter seven.

It is obvious that you can write well. The scene is portrayed in a very bleak and hard way, without flowering the edges, or spoiling it with too much detail. Its hard to write abuse of any kind, and i think you have the perfect combination of practicle facts, and the young girls emotions. I particularly liked the way you showed how she shut down and was singing in her head. I have a scene or two in my MS thats about domestic violence, and i have re-written it so many times i've lost count.

All in all, i think your style is perfect for this kind of story, and even though i read no other chapters, i felt an immediate familiarity with the girl. This on its own shows outstanding skill. There are a couple of Martina Cole novels this reminded me of, one in particular was about a rapist.

The only critisism:
I wasn't keen on the word 'Budding' for her breasts as i dont think someone that age would think of themselves in this way

The only other down side: It was a bit shocking to read straight into someones rape. I know this is not your opening chap, but maybe warn people that its in here if you are asking for chap 7 to be read, as some people may hae been through a real rape, and could be greatly disturbed if they are faced with this out of the blue.

That said, it was extremly realistic, harrowing, and very well written.

Best of Luck,
Cec

Gail_M wrote 1521 days ago

I think I love Jack, too :)

Backed with pleasure

Gail
NEW BEGINNINGS

Winney wrote 1522 days ago

Instantly I liked Jack. He is a friend who remembers you as a child, and comes down to a dusty basement to find you. You do well to begin with such a set-up, but your story is full of so much more. Thanks for the read and good luck!

Alecia Stone wrote 1522 days ago

Hi Lynda,

Loved the pitch. I couldn’t wait to delve into the story, and I wasn’t disappointed. It’s brilliant! It grabbed my attention and kept me glued. Believable characters and authentic dialogue. Great pacing; it was easy to read.

A great read. Very well written.

Shinzy :)

Ariom Dahl wrote 1522 days ago

This Bird Flew Away

Heh, the first line of this story describes me as a kid, too. (but not the rest; I had a very happy childhood.)
Ah, this is the aftermath of a funeral, but we don’t really discover until well into the first chapter whose funeral. The exchanges between Bria and Jack sound authentic and I am drawn to like them both.
‘The last goodbye is when we should be most truthful.’ Oh so true!
Okay, I’ve read to the end of the first chapter. This is creepy and painful, but well done, so I’m backing it. But I can’t promise that I’ll come back and read more. I want to, but think I’ll have to take it a chapter at a time.

Wilma1 wrote 1523 days ago

The pitch promised much and did not dissapoint. I love the intricate way you weave the relationship and trust between Bria and Jack. You slowly build the layers and it is an emotional ride as Bria reveals her seacrets and Jack offers his in ballance. Your dialouge is so beliveable. This book is something special and I think it will do really well, I will watch its progress to the ED desk.

Sue Mackender
Knowing Liam Riley

lionel25 wrote 1523 days ago

Ms Martin, I like the true-to-life dialogue in that opening section. This is a smooth read.

Shelved with pleasure.

Joffrey (The Silver Spoon Effect)

hkraak wrote 1523 days ago

THIS Bird Flew Away: Brilliant! You pack a lot into dialogue. The emotions of Bria are palpable throughout the read-- whether in first person or journal form. The first person POV changes between characters are believable (I kinda wanted a chapter from Jack's POV as well.) I know this particular story is fiction, but there is extreme scum of the earth out there who inflict horrors on children and I think if your story brings even one person to justice it would be worth it. On the other side, there are amazingly kind and tenacious people like Jack who are fighting for that justice!

Heidi
Pearl Edda

klouholmes wrote 1523 days ago

Hi Lynda, The way this is portrayed slowly bends the scenes from an interesting encounter with Bria into a moving and sensitive portrait of her. Jack’s attention seems from boredom at first. I liked how all the food and activity seems to be too much. Bria’s confidences come as if there might be more. A story that makes a person care to keep reading. Excellent dialogue too! Easily shelved – Katherine (The Swan Bonnet)

lmmartin wrote 1523 days ago

The first chapter was immediately engaging, but then you went quickly into the story. First person except from different people in different chapters, - it's something I don't like as a rule, but the way you've written, and the story, is too good to be bothered with minor preferences.
If you want to know, there's a tiny error in Ch 6, 'You're guess is as good as mine,' should be 'your.'
Congratulations on some excellent writing.



Thanks -- one of those stupid little errors where the mind knows better but the fingers don't. And thanks for your comment. Lynda

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