Book Jacket

 

rank  Editors Pick
word count 63960
date submitted 30.04.2011
date updated 30.04.2012
genres: Fiction, Literary Fiction, Romance
classification: moderate
complete

Inevitable

Claire Lyman

Fall in love, and it might change everything. Your plans, your future, you. Maybe even your politics.

 

Kate has taught French to dozens of people, but she has never met anyone like Brad, a diplomat who teaches her to love America and follow her dreams. But an ambiguous friendship in Brad’s past casts a shadow over what could be between them.

Years later, as she reminisces from Washington DC, she wonders if they each made the right choices with their lives. By 2035, she is a US Senator, enduring attacks from the opposition as she fights for a paid parental leave bill.

Inevitable explores the age-old question: is it better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all? And if your pain has the potential to lead indirectly to good for thousands, millions, of people, is it worth it?

Note to HarperCollins editor/reader: this book fits best in the women's fiction genre (not chick lit, and not traditional romance). Looking forward to your comments!

 
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america, books, brussels, french, friendship, grammar, heartbreak, jazz, juilliard, language, love, music, politics, teaching, the west wing, washingt...

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HarperCollins Wrote

As the book’s blurb confesses, the subject matter of ‘Inevitable’ is nothing new. However, the author’s gentle writing style, endearing characters, and ability to toy with the readers’ emotions allow us to forget the slight predictability of the book’s storyline. The book’s many qualities are, however, blighted by several persistent frustrations. Less reliance on cultural reference, and greater consideration to consistency and detail when writing from the perspective of 2035, could easily improve what is already a strong novel with broad appeal.

Books in this genre will always be made or broken by the strength and appeal of their characters. Fortunately both the men in Kate’s younger life, Mark and Brad, as well as Kate herself, are well-developed. The author successfully manages to balance Mark’s sweetness and benevolence with an underlying sense of his unsuitability for Kate. Meanwhile Brad is imperfect, yet easily identifiable and highly desirable. I had a little trouble accepting the influence Brad is meant to have had on the life-choices of the passionate and independent Kate, but where I had real difficulty was with Lucy. Chapters throughout the book are written in her voice, yet she, as a character, is given little personality and seems to have been paid little attention. The story as a whole stands up without Lucy’s chapters, which begs the question of whether her perspective is really necessary.

The author is right to insist that the book is neither chick lit nor traditional romance; ‘Inevitable’ has enough depth to appeal to a broader audience, and not just to women. However the political strain of the story is not yet strong or independent enough. Instead of exploring life on the Capitol, the book turns time and time again to ‘West Wing’ references. After the first reference had been made early on, the influence of the television show on the story becomes more than apparent, with further references merely pushing the book towards fan fiction. ‘Inevitable’ should stand alone, and not in the shadows of the series that is its inspiration. The political orientation of the novel could be improved upon by dedicating fewer words to praising both the ‘West Wing’ and Barack Obama, and more to exploring life on the Capitol, and Kate’s struggle to pass her Bill.

The idea of setting the present day (2010) as the nostalgic past, to which an older Kate is looking back from the year 2035, is interesting but presents major challenges. The author’s use of cultural references gives a fuller sense of 2010, but this creates problems when dealing with 2035, where a similar style can clearly not be maintained. References in the 2035 sections to contemporary culture – such as the author Audrey Niffenegger – raise more questions than they answer. The author skips past the opportunity, if not the necessity, of explaining the state of the world in 2035, in particular with regard politics and technology. Indeed, the world in twenty-plus years time seems not to have changed at all. Will the contemporary statistic that one-third of Americans have not read a book since high school really be unchanged in 2035? Similarly, Kate, in 2010, complains about technological advances such as the eBook, but no mention is made at all of technology in 2035. While spending too much time exploring the future could detract from the main drive of the story, giving no time at all to this cause does the same, leaving the reader both confused and dissatisfied.

I hope it is clear that the above remarks do not represent attacks on the overall substance of the novel. ‘Inevitable’ is highly readable, its characters are appealing, and its plot – if a little obvious – is clear and well-paced. Both its political context and the use of transition between the future and the present could allow the book to stand out in a heavily-saturated genre, and merit its success in reaching the Editor’s Desk. The book’s problems are largely sideline irritations, but they are nonetheless distracting and disorientating.

‘Inevitable’ is a little like a swimming pool. It is both shallow and deep, cleverly combining the conventions and style of a romantic novel with more substantial political questions and morals. It is fun to float through and feels – unlike many titles in the genre – like it is doing you at least a little good. However – and to leave behind the strained metaphor – small cracks in the book’s believability and originality detract from the reading experience. A few alterations – fleshing out the state of the world in 2035, re-thinking the emphasis on cultural references, and giving greater clarity to the book’s structure – could smooth out the niggling questions and irritations that currently cloud an otherwise absorbing read.





EltopiaAuthor wrote 795 days ago

Very nice first chapter. The writer has an engaging style, and the characters are interesting. Woven into the mix, is a narrative laced with hints at how an author thinks, how the writing process becomes a way of life. I am convinced that it was a writer's writer who produced this chapter. Well done.

RockfordBuckeye wrote 859 days ago

Ok I finished inevitable - really lovely and touching and heart-breaking at the same time. I so admired Catherine for her strength and the fact that she didn't allow her career and life purpose to take a back seat to her broken heart. I loked that insted of making her bitter the loss almost makes her softer. It was really a lovely tale of love lost but told in a realistic and hopeful light. Good luck finding a publisher. I would have been happy to pay to read your story and would keep a dog-eared copy on my bookshelf :) please keep writing!

NeedlessToSay wrote 1017 days ago

I wish there was more that I could say about this, but I'm pretty sure one word sums it up: flawless.

You writing style is fresh and sophisticated, but not too much so that it comes across as arrogant. I really enjoyed reading every word of this. You breath a life into your character that most writers have trouble finding and you do this effortlessly through your strong, realistic dialogue and subtle, yet powerful descriptions. The opening has intrigued me to keep reading, not only because I'm curious as to see where the story is going from here, but because I am in LOVE with your characters. They seem like people I could talk to, relate with, laugh with. I already feel for Catherine, or Kate as Brad calls her, and I was already hanging on the edge of my seat waiting to see what would happen between them next. The teacher-student relationship has been done many times before, but there's something different about this, something REAL, that sets it apart. Sure, he's her student, but they're both adults. We, as the reader, won't think she's a horrible woman for following these feelings.

Excellent work, Claire. You can be assured I'll return for more. :D

~Topher

daveocelot wrote 1020 days ago

Hello Claire,

Weeeeell, I got this one all wrong....

I don't read much chick-lit. I know that blokes always say that as a standardized heterosexuality proving disclaimer, but I don't. Every time I hear women talking about the genre (for instance, when I hide in their locker rooms) they're always saying how "...it's a great book to read with a glass or two of wine."

So, just to get into character, I did that. I derived no pleasure from the alcohol, it was purely for the purposes of research. Plus, I am Amish! Now I'm three chapters and two glasses in and I have to stop.

It's just too good, and too well written, to be viewed through some Pinot Grigio fug. You shouldn't really be labelling this "chick-lit", you should give it a more auspicious and highbrow tag like, er, "literary fiction for birds".

It's also much more complex than I expected, with the criss-crossing narrative and the time shifts. I can't deal with it right now, I need to go off and read some book with a Ladybird on the spine, or resign myself to posting obtuse remarks in the forum until I faint. I 'll get back to it some other time with a clearer head so I can fully savour all its depth and nuance.

Some quibbles from the few chapters I did read:

This exchange, Chapter 1:

"...you have experienced pain in thirty years of life, right?"

"Of course."

"Don't worry, it will come."

EH? She already said she had experienced it. Is Brad deaf?

Also, I thought there were a few too many pop cultural references in it, which might be the cat's pyjamas now, but will date quickly in the long haul. Might not look so sharp in 2035! Other than that - excellente, Meester Ambassador!

Dave

RossClark1981 wrote 1030 days ago

- Inevitable -

(Based on what I’ve read so far, which is chapters 1-3)

What initially attracted me to this was the languages aspect, and the teaching thereof. Being a language teacher myself and an avid learner, I have a soft spot for any book that deals with foreign tongues. Inevitable certainly doesn’t disappoint on that front. Not only is there an entertaining representation of the language learning process but there is also an exploration of that sometimes strangely intimate relationship that develops between teacher and student during one to one lessons, where the teacher veers unexpectedly into the waters of friend and psychologist. It’s an idea I’ve often thought about exploring in a novel myself so it’s both interesting and satisfying to see it so well realized here with Kate and Brad.

That being said, this is not something I would necessarily read were I to find it in a book shop, the chick lit tag marking it as something outside of my usual comfort zone. That I enjoyed reading this as much as I did then speaks to the quality of the writing and the story. This is very ambitious storytelling, moving as it does from past to future, from relative obscurity in Belgium to the corridors of power in Washington. From the pitch, I might have thought this too ambitious but any such fears are quickly allayed by the very authentic feel that the future political aspect has. The relationships between Kate the politician and her aides feels well researched yet natural and her recounting of her political career is incredibly interesting. And I very much enjoyed the idea of looking back from the future to the present. It gives an interesting slant to the POV. Given that The West Wing features in the story I had to wonder whether another US TV show, How I met Your Mother, was at all an influence in this particular regard.

What else? This very up-to-date in a way that I can’t remember many other books feeling. Ipods, The West Wing, Obama etc. This definitely struck me as a keen use of observation. It may not seem a particularly remarkable achievement at first but I’m often irritated by TV shows and books that seem to ignore the contemporary world to suit their storylines, e.g., a set of characters tries desperately to get hold of another character but not a one of them has a mobile phone for some reason. So the contemporary observations were something I enjoyed. My only slight worry for the book as a whole, however, stems from the same issue. Will setting a lot of it so much in the here and now, with contemporary references, make it date quicker than most books? I hope not and it’s certainly not a major fear since so much of the story takes place in the future. This is more just me thinking aloud and nitpicking at something since there seems nothing else for me to crit.
Hmm, so not much useful in this here comment I imagine. If this is chick-lit then the sometimes snidey pronunciation utilized when invoking the genre should be removed for Inevitable is a very classy, innovative and mature piece of work.

All the best with it,

Ross

flygurl wrote 327 days ago

Claire,
What a magnificent work of art! Your story and writing are bold and sophisticated. Ok, so let me star with Kate. I love her fiercely independent spirit, and I like how you have her looking back at her life. Great concept and adds depth and layers to the novel. Brad is annoying but his role in the story is interesting. All characters are very well developed, even Steph. I really like all the music/books/pop culture that you sprinkle throughout, it adds a sort of soundtrack to your book. Although the story breaks your heart, Kate;s reaction makes me want to shout girl power! In fact, her laser point focus on her career and the issues that she is fighting for are admirable and will indeed speak to women.

Your writing is flawless, and the time/pace and flow of your story is great! Excellent work, I will definitely be reading more. Best of luck to you!

mandapanda96 wrote 400 days ago

Hihihi :) So i'm here to say thank you again for giving me the suggestion of your book and also to write down some of my comments of it :)

I actually really love the name of the book and i also like that it is about a woman teaching French :D I take French and i'm excited to know more :D

The first thing that jumped out at me when i began reading chapter one was the amazing opening descriptions of colours and such. I loved it, made me smile xD Yes i'm a bit mad like that, words can make me happy :D I think it's interesting that you haven't explained to us how Kate and Brad met yet which makes us curious but also i'm enjoying the way you portray Kate and Brad's developing friendship.

I like the way you go back in time and let us peek into the way that Brad and Kate used to be, and the way she is now. That makes us wonder what's going to happen, though i do have some kind of an inkling of what will come at the end :)

I would have backed this book, had it not already been starred and reviewed by HarperCollins!

It does get a little confusing to follow sometimes since the whole book has parts where it switches between now and then, but i've only read a few chapters so i'm sure i'll understand the gist of it more fully as i read on. I'd love to keep commenting but there's quite a lot of suggestions i'd like to go through and comment on, so perhaps when i've finished 'Inevitable' i will come back and write another comment.

Anyways thanks for giving me this lovely suggestion of your book, i'm really enjoying
reading it! Keep writing, Claire!
~Manda :)

patricia mc a wrote 650 days ago

After the first chapter, I am sure I'll read more. The storyline feels original and Brad and Kate/Catherine, real, even this early in the novel. Please consider reading/backing my novel, Starr. I've uploaded the first five chapters and will be adding more soon. The book is complete and I won't leave any readers dangling! I will be back to read more Inevitable and comment again. So far, Very Good. Pat McA, San Diego, CA

Quillpen wrote 659 days ago

Good use of the now and then style of telling a story. Oh for a happy ending but what is true happiness? Different things to different people at different times. Has Kate really found happiness in this book? I want her to, I really want her to.
This book deserves a place on a bookshelf.

Ka'zaphir wrote 719 days ago

Really good. I liked how you made Brad ask her questions a reader might ask when it comes to writing. And how she described part of the scenery in response to his question about being a writer. I like How Kate views herself to be of a specific root, but Brad seems to see otherwise. Like when she analyzes him for saying Kate instead of Katherine. Overall it was very good, will definitely read more.

Jonathan (The Hidden Truth)

sylviawriter wrote 720 days ago

I have read the first three chapters and can't wait to read more. I really enjoy your writing style. Intelligently written but not over the top; not pretentious. The story is fresh and interesting. I am anxious to continue reading but I wanted to stop and leave a quick comment.

Congratulations on a job well done!

Sylvia Talo
Deadly Dot Com Revenge

John C. Daly wrote 720 days ago

This is scary good. Scary in the sense that it's not bound and on shelf some place. Is there no hope?

Karen Eisenbrey wrote 722 days ago

I finished the book today, and found it very satisfying. I love the idea that two very likable characters can love each other, be great together, yet not end up together -- and nobody is the bad guy. I really appreciate Kate, a strong, smart, competent woman with a full and satisfying life who is nonetheless susceptible to love even if she doesn't need a man to "complete" her. (I'm rooting for her to at least allow herself to have more non-solitary fun!) I understand the trouble one commenter had with the structure, finding it confusing at the beginning, but once I understood what was going on, I loved it. The reader often knows the effect before the cause, which raises questions and makes the answers more significant. I'm not sure how to explain how Lucy's pieces got into Kate's manuscript -- maybe Lucy is also writing a book! Her story is the more conventional romance/chick-lit plot, but also sweet and plausible. Nobody in this is a bad guy. Mark is a bit of a jerk, but he has his reasons. Everyone is portrayed with humanity and compassion -- even some Republicans! Finally, I love the portrayal of politics in all its wonky, eye-glazing, caffeinated glory. The way Kate and her team break the filibuster made me cheer.

This book deserves its place in the top 5 and in a couple of days, on the Ed Desk. Congratulations and nice work!

Karen Eisenbrey
CRANE'S WAY
ENDURANCE
TIME SQUARED

Grey Muir wrote 724 days ago

Hi Claire.
Just wanted to say good luck.
I think comments help your rank a bit.
And I've already got you on my shelf, 6 starred and watchlisted.
I'm rooting for you. Hope the pressure isn't too great!!!! ;-)

Margarine wrote 724 days ago

Beautifully written, a pleasure to read.

ceejezoid wrote 726 days ago

Stopping to leave a comment, will continue reading!

Beautifully written - I love the little touches of humour finding their way through the melancholic recollection of romance. I suspect this is going to be horribly sad! I'm loving the backstory, particularly the description of Moonlight Sonata. In fact, Moonlight Sonata is kinda what this feels like to read.

Ummm, things to improve.....maybe change the 31 in his first French lesson to the actual words? Lol, thats pretty much all I got.

High stars from me, totally deserves to be on the desk.

Owen Scott wrote 726 days ago

Dear Claire,

I started off getting all confused. Why is the past perfect being used? Is this a flashback? Or a narrative within a narrative? Also, where are the quotation tags. I don’t know who is saying what! I don’t even know what country I’m in and who’s going or coming from where.

Am I supposed to go back and read again and again until I figure it out? Or shouldn’t the author make things a little easier for the reader?

I suggest you firmly orient the reader in time and place when you begin, introduce the characters one by one so that I know who they are, and make sure it’s clear who is saying what.

The letter from Kate, the Lucy: then (in third person) and Kate: then and now (in first person) make me more confused, not less.

I’d like to give your story a fair shake, but it will need a less confusing introduction first. I hope this doesn't sound rude. I want to be helpful.

Best of luck.

Scott
The Grand Prize

Karamak wrote 727 days ago

Hi Claire, I have wasted no time in reading your first chapter as after you asked me to, I read the synopsis and was keen to give it a look. Well it did not disapointed . It is a wonderfully written piece with style and flair, I too would be happy to buy this book, I'm sure you will get published. You are a very talented writer, a lovely first novel.
On my bookshelf and V highly stared.

Denys Leclerc wrote 727 days ago

Dear Claire:

I enjoyed your book immensely! Congratulation on making the ED! I noticed that you did not return the read you promised several times. As a francophone, I would be delighted to hear what you think. S'il vous plaît, lisez quelques chapitres de Into Light. Nous aimerions recevoir des commentaires. Bonne chance!

Denys Leclerc, PhD, Into Light

Karen Eisenbrey wrote 727 days ago

Claire,

I've read 3 chapters of Inevitable and even though it isn't what I typically pick up, I find it captivating. This is the story of lives, with many tangled strands. The voice is smart and sophisticated, with a great deal of human warmth and humor. I like how you dive right in without a lot of explanations and layer the past/present with the present/future. The study of language serves as a wonderful metaphor, along with music. The details are delightful -- how people make their coffee, keep house, wash hands, fall in love. I found chapter 2 very touching and insightful, with its sketch of women working together, caring for each other even when they're fighting.

In 3 chapters, I noted one tiny nitpick:

ralentendo should be rallentando (darn those Italian musical terms, anyway!)

Anyway, great stuff! Backed and 6 stars.

Karen Eisenbrey
CRANE'S WAY
ENDURANCE
TIME SQUARED

patio wrote 727 days ago

This story is full of emotion. In fact, it produced a tsunami of tears.

J. T. Carroll wrote 728 days ago

Lovely evocative writing! I can see why this book is headed for the editor's review. I did find that the lovely moods and rhythms were interrupted somewhat by the bouncing back and forth in time and POV. You might consider consolidating so there is less of that. Maybe confine each chapter to one time period and one viewpoint. It became especially hard to follow in 2035 when the narrative was "looking back" and the previous section had been in 2009. But all in all, a piece to be proud of and no doubt you will find a publisher's support!

I'd love to know what you think of my book, Bitnapped!, which is much lighter in tone, but also features a strong female protagonist.

regards,
J. T. Carroll

Tarzan For Real wrote 729 days ago

Your writing style is always so crisp and sharp. I bring 3 indigenous languages out of 360 languages that Nigeria has. I saw you bring language into your work as well. Another tool that works well in your novel.--JL

junetee wrote 730 days ago

What a wonderful romantic story. It doesn't fit into my picture of chick-lit ot the average romance novel I've read on the site. It seams more engaging, sophisticated and intense.
Catherine is such a strong character who you have created so well. I can feel her emotions and I almost feel like I too love Brad. He is an intriguing character, with his jazz music and his brown eyes dancing with passion.
I wish I'd met him too.
Overall origional storyline. Extremely well written and I can see why its doing so well.
I cannot find fault and I hope you do well in the Harper Collins review.
Starred Highly

Good luck
Junetee(Four Corners)

Terence Brumpton wrote 733 days ago

I have to say i didn't think i would like this . But reading the first chapter i have to say i will be coming back for more.A five star book

Nathan O'Hagan wrote 735 days ago

When i saw 'romance' in the genres, i'll admit i whinced, and considered not even bothering to read this. Well, i'm glad i did, because it's near flawless writing; ambitious, mature and hugely accomplished. I'd say it was of publishable standard already, and it's clear why it's done so well on here, and will certainly earn its place on this months ed's desk.
I wonder whether you should think about removing 'romance' from the genre list, as it may put some readers off (though this may just be down to my own personal prejudice, and it may earn you more readers than it loses).

Max stars, and enjoy getting your Harper Collins review.

A.L.Michael wrote 737 days ago

Really enjoying this- looking forward to reading it all- good luck with it!

Famlavan wrote 739 days ago

Liked the characterisation, very believable and congruent. One thing that stopped the flow for a second was in the opening - I couldn't work out if there were piano's or Starbucks at the airport, if the discussion came from a mind read or from the dialogue (minor in comparison to what comes next). It has an almost meandering beautiful style held together by great dialogue and sub-text. Nicely layered it's easy to rate and support - Good luck!

Estelene wrote 739 days ago

I read the first chapter, and you have terrific dialogue. I'm a fan of "West Wing," too, and the clip of the conversations reminds me of the dialogue in a good television show. But while I could hear the characters, I couldn't really see them or where they were--but I admit to a preference for a balance of imagery and dialogue. I was also a little confused by the piano/Starbucks conversation at the very beginning. She never says aloud what she’s thinking about the Starbucks, so when he responded, I thought at first that he was saying there were a couple of pianos at the airport—which made no sense to me—so I had to go back and read again.

Clearly, from your standing, others have not had these concerns, though, so congratulations on your ranking.

Books'n'Wine wrote 744 days ago

Hi Claire
My friend, Caroline, pointed me at this book. What a lovely story... though I must eat pastries and drink coffee. Right now.
:)
Jane

jlbwye wrote 744 days ago

Delighted to reaffirm my support for Inevitable - a very worthwhile read.
Jane (Breath of Africa)

JamesRevoir wrote 745 days ago

Congratulations Claire!

katemb wrote 745 days ago

Inevitable is engaging, assured and persuasively written. The characters are rounded, instantly believable and interesting. Brave structure too. Definitely deserves the desk! Very impressive!
Kate

fictionguy wrote 746 days ago

Ah, the mysteries of love. You can go to a giant ballroom where there are a thousand people dancing and talking. You look across the room at a face on the other side, alone, looking up at you and suddenly you know you are in love. If you can figure out why, you'll know more than all the scientists, psycologists, philosophers and all the great poets in history. Somehow, it's all new with new people or characters and your story fit in with the semmingly destiny and timelessness of love and you made me believe it. Good luck. Women will love it.

Cara Gold wrote 747 days ago

A beautiful and elegant story so far, written with poise and grace. The beginning, italicised part brought a tear to my eye and scratched at the scab of a recently healed wound, as it reminded me of such a similar scene in my own life. Emotion bubbles out of your words, and you have a skilful command of dialogue -- it sounds purposeful and adds meaning to the characters and your story, as opposed to just seeming like randomly added speech.

This book, it seems, contains elements of everything I love; French, romance, ambition, beautifully crafted characters that are so realistic and that truly invite you into their world!

Best of luck, I'll be back for more :)

Cara

Grey Muir wrote 748 days ago

Hi Claire.
You were one of the first folks I spoke to when I first got on Authonomy. I just backed your book and rated it 6 stars. Good luck at the ED.

Terje wrote 749 days ago

Unsurprisingly, you use language exceptionally well, and have a clear sense of what you are doing and where you are going. Generally you have what good writers must have, a sense of authority - if you will excuse the weak joke, most of your sentences feel inevitable.

I do think there is still work to be done: there are some awkward mis-steps - 'unspecified berry'? Surely the problem is that too often the flavour is unidentifiable with the specified berry. I know this sounds picky, but it is merely an example where I felt perhaps you were trying just a tiny bit too hard when your writing simply doesn't need it. The conversations were long but I recognise that they are integral to the book in a way they are not to many other books (I just reviewed an alleged 'thriller' which far longer conversations most of which sent me to sleep!) but nevertheless they perhaps need to be editied carefully. There are occasional slips, but most are simply proof-reading issues.

I understand that what I have said is a little vaguie. To me this needs rigorous editing; but not because it is bad, but because it is so good. Perhaps I should say rather that it deserves rigorous editing.

It is fresh, genuine, and without the intrusion of ego (your use of your own specialist knowledge at no point sounds like the showing-off found so often on this site). Later today I should have a space on my shelf and I will put this there. I would be happy to give more feedback.

Many thanks.

Rose C wrote 749 days ago

Language teaching, politics and love - I was drawn immediately to this. I did find it difficult to get into initially - all the time shifts, and I wasn't sure why, when Lucy had been 'she' all the way through the introductory section, her name needed to be mentioned at the end, but as I read on I became captivated by the lovely melancholy tone. Memories, pain, loss, all blended in an exquisitely structured prose. And wonderfully precise description; parts I particularly enjoyed were the piano playing in Chapter 3, and the smell of a new book in Chapter 4. Excellent stuff. Starred and watchlisted.

riantorr wrote 752 days ago

Ah, but for the better or worse?

Regards,
Rian Torr
New London Masquerade

vmorr wrote 758 days ago

I was only going to read the first chapter...then only the next... and I got sucked into reading the whole thing, which I breezed through!
I love the concept, and especially your use of French, including trying to tutor an American. I finally understood who Lucy is to Brad (Brad's email in chapter 15 works well to do that). That really confused me at first, but in hindsight, it worked really well. I really empathise with her at the beginning of chapter 9, and I felt sorry for her at many points throughout. You're a great writer and I love the use of past/present/dated events. They give a great sense of perspective which is really useful because the narrative does skip around, but it also reads better than if all the events were in chronological order and all in the present/past.
I love the use of songs and poems, and the way French is used - and introduced - so cleanly. I also love the book quotes - particuarly from American Rust and The Time Traveller's Wife. They quotes are perfectly in context most of the time, and they enhance the story. In fact, you use many points of reference which just contribute to a rich novel. It sort of ends how it starts, and it's sad but fitting.
I'll come back and give you a proper review when I have time, but this a great read that I'm sure will do well! x

Noelle J. Alabaster wrote 758 days ago

Hi Claire,
What a fun first chapter! There was plenty of backstory mixed into it, but not too much. There was even a touch of humor, which I enjoyed! The American accent part was easily relatable for me--I've lived in America my whole life, and I'm sure I have what would be considered an accent. Having the MC a French teacher was a new, original twist that was a nice change. You have lovely, flowing writing that is great for a book like this.
Noelle :)

Eden Ashley wrote 761 days ago

Okay I've only read your first chapter, but I love this! I'm a sucker for a good romance. The chemistry between Brad and Kate is subtle and lovely. The contrasts to American and French cultures adds a touch of genuineness. Introducing the story with Lucy and Brad immediately gives the reader what is promised in the pitch, making us want to keep reading to see how everything will continue to develop. Switching from third person to first person was a bit jarring for me. But I've noticed quite a few writers on this site are doing this. And it's not enough to keep from not continuing to read. Which I am definitely planning to do. Oh and this may or may no be a typo in "when Washington explodes into cherry blossom"--should be blossoms?

Anyway, great read. I must come back for more :)

Eden
The Siren's Heart

Duncan Watt wrote 761 days ago

Hi Claire ...

A very deep and meaningful novel with good characters and strong dialogue. I believe you have found the essence of literary fiction with this solid piece of work. The writing is concise and to the point and requires little in the way of editing. This asks so many questions and presents some extremely interesting answers. I only wish I had the time to read more. Backed and rated. Regards ... Duncan.

Danehagen wrote 762 days ago

Claire, I loved this statement in your book: "because the dreams in someone's heart can tell you almost as much about them as their bookshelves can." Catherine is a very strong character. Good book. Good luck.

Elsie
And God Sent the Dragonflies

Kim Padgett-Clarke wrote 764 days ago

A very impressive novel. Your writing style is skilful and professional. You really get into the heads of Kate and Brad and what makes them tick. I could feel Kate's frustration that Brad wasn't picking up on her deep feelings for him positively oozing out of the page. You tackle the age old scenario of student/teacher relationships and where the boundaries lie superbly. I wouldn't categorise Inevitable as chick-lit because in my opinion it goes a lot deeper than that. Six well deserved stars.

Kim (Pain)

Su Dan wrote 765 days ago

you use a good voice for your book. wihich complements you narrative and dialogue...good style, good book...
l have backed already...
read SEASONS...

MsRubyRed wrote 767 days ago

Beautiful! Just beautiful! O my, I sound like Bernard Matthews.

Who am I to give you any advice? I breezed through the opening five chapters. My eyes felt sore. I don't think I blinked more than twice.

Ruby

Bohemian wrote 768 days ago

Your prose is elegant and concise. I am enjoying this very much. You weave a web of words around my head and I know I am in the hands of a deft storyteller. I can't wait to read on. ~~Bohemian~~

Gideon McLane wrote 770 days ago

"Inevitable" - Claire Lyman. I read the 1st 2 chapters and scanned several comments. Interesting time-forward read. Stars and shelf for plot and writing skill. I sense a tear jerker coming on. Some thoughts: I was bounced around a little in chapter one -not sure who's who. Chapter 2: Unless you have the proper title of a bill "Childcare...Bill" then "bill" or "bills" always need to be in lower case. Hope this helps.

Regards,
Gideon ("Thrill Writer's Remorse")

Madison A. wrote 771 days ago

Claire,

You write so beautifully. I'm new on here and not very good at commenting I don't feel, so please forgive me. I did get lost sometimes, but it didn't make me want to stop reading. What did was the late hour and I am stopping for tonight on chapter 10.

You developed your characters so well and they are so interesting I look forward to finishing tomorrow. Well done.

Madison A.

Elizabeth.NYC wrote 771 days ago

This story is beautiful, Claire. So rich with emotion and memory. I'm a romantic, so I was hooked by chapter 1. Your tight, elegant style makes for a wonderful read. High Stars - I can't wait to read your HC Review.
Lizzi

Kathryn Page wrote 772 days ago

Very enjoyable style which won me over even though I am not particularly romantic. The first chapter was interesting with interesting hints as to what might come. The narrative voice is strong and filled with longing. I certainly had a great deal of empathy for Catherine and her situation.

mvw888 wrote 774 days ago

Claire,

I've read the first four chapters here, more than I normally do because I was honestly taken in by the story. I think you have a modern story here that will appeal to readers on many levels, and it's very well-written. Lots of sensory detail and a good rhythm throughout. I was a little jarred by the traveling back in forth and time and the different settings, but by the third chapter I had gotten used to it. I would think that even further along in the book, it would be something I wouldn't even think about. I was curious about a few things. I'm wondering why you chose to set the "current" Kate in the future...I'm imagining it's because you're following some train of thought about American culture/politics to its conclusion. But this tactic in itself is actually interesting and makes me want to see more of what her life in 2035 is like. I like the fact that Kate has seemed to made some ideal of Brad and her time with him (as we all do with memories sometimes), and it's intriguing to wonder how this will play out when/if she comes across him again.

On a side note...it occurs to me that your shorter sections here are well-suited for reading by e-reader :-).

I was quite impressed with this. Beautiful writing and a modern premise, a romance of sorts with deeper threads. Something I would definitely continue reading if I picked it up. Looking forward to your review.

Mary

GoodBookLook wrote 775 days ago

You book is good, 5-stars.

TMNAGARAJAN wrote 776 days ago

INEVITABLE

I just random-picked this. Wow. I read a couple of chapters and felt like having sipped "starbuck". Inevitably, i back it instantly, happily.

TMN
"Never Lose..."