Book Jacket

 

rank 127
word count 48977
date submitted 09.05.2012
date updated 16.11.2012
genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Children's, Young...
classification: universal
incomplete

The Life Inside Maggie Pincus

David I. Billingham

12-year-old Maggie knows only sadness. But more lies beneath the surface. A new world of happiness awaits………if only she can survive it.

 

Trapped in a world that only rejects her, 12-year-old Maggie’s future holds little hope. Little does she know that a new world is already waiting in the shape of an unseen society that offers her family, friendship, happiness; everything she could have ever dreamed of.

But in this fantastic new world not all is as it seems. For beneath the surface a war is waging. A war that wants only one thing …...her life………..and the life within Maggie Pincus.


 
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antibodies, antibody, bees, beetles, blood stream, body, body parts, boogers, brothers, candles, cat, children's, cloaked, cold, creative life, dark, ...

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benedict wrote 608 days ago

CHIRG review,

Simply fantastic children's writing here David. I am so impressed by this. A truly harrowing opening chapter gives way to the perfect setup for a kids' book with the Roald Dahlesque Cinderella-like Maggie suffering through her days.

Your plot kept me reading all the way to chapter five and I wish I had time to read the whole thing. I can see why you've moved up the rankings so quickly and you clearly deserve to go higher. I would definitely be backing this if I had a space. I know that's easy to say but I really mean it, sadly for you I like to see the books I back all the way through to the desk but if you get within reach or a space opens up I promise I'll try to help out.

I don't have much structural stuff to comment on except that I wasn't completely sure if Maggie is literally deformed or she just thinks of herself as such - was confused by her brother's mushroom comment and her looking in the mirror.

I did notice quite a few minor things - only took notes on the first three chapters sorry, but there were some more in chapter four you should hunt for - especially repeated words in the opening paragraph (bodies x2 sides x2). Anyway I hope these help you, ignore them if you disagree.

Ch 0
For a moment he BECAME/WAS lost in thought
-more direct

you says he revels in the memory of her punishments and then that he takes no pleasure in them. Clearly he's not being truthful with himself but this contradiction is a little too transparent

through the water's surface
-apostrophe

drain downward toward the young face
-not sure drain is a suitable verb here = trail??

the first and last time feeling its basket BURN
-more direct again

Chapt 1

Each with its own perfect lawn and A perfect little family LIVING INSIDE
-I think sounds smoother

I wasn’t sure if the two halfs of her face are literally different or this is a metaphor?

Old, greasy, brown paper bag
-commas

ALL THREE WERE unusually large for their age with broad, muscular chests
-fits in better with the plural at the end and also add the comma

Ch 2
-why make the previous chapter 12 days before the garden party if the next chapter jumps to it. I’d have it be the day before the party so that you have the feel of a consecutive narrative rather than instantly having a big gap in events

A must be invite for…
I don’t think you need the hyphens here, it’s not exactly one of those long lists of words that runs together also I think it should be must have not must be

Today’s group of guests… her with a particularly good BATCH of POTENTIAL husbands
-avoids repetition

None of them WERE intelligent enough
-as none can be plural depending on what compliments it e.g. none of the people are fat not is fat - http://www.grammarmudge.cityslide.com/articles/article/1026513/9903.htm

Someone had gone to the trouble OF SMEARING

Six stars and thanks for backing me, I'll try to get to the desk as soon as possible and free up some space. I promise to come back and read this in full as soon as I do.

Best of luck
Benedict

D.J.Milne wrote 625 days ago

CHIG Review
Hi David,
I have just read through your first five chapters. I love your idea for the chapter titles, the Itch, the scratching all the way to the coagulants, the whole range of a spot or sore being picked and then healed. Your character of Maggie is superbly written as are your other cast, the step-brothers and mother, the dead people and Terminus and Janus. You are such a strong descriptive writer and the imagery jumps out the page like a pop-up book. I didn't see any glaring typos, and if they were there then your sparking story line shone so bright that I didn't notice. A solid six stars from me and I can't believe it has taken me all this time to discover your work. A truly wonderful read.
D.J
The Ghost Shirt

Wussyboy wrote 634 days ago

Wow, David, just read your 7 and it's a tour de force of imagination. The last para blew me away. I'm not sure children will "get" the rather complex belief system of "internals" and "souls" warring for control over bodies - it's rather an adult concept, did your kids understand it? - but it worked for me! I've always believed that when the soul and the ego (lesser self) are at odds, the body will fall into ruin and disease. If you truly wish to make this a kids book though, I would seriously consider "simplifying" things - at times, Maggie's dad's explanations veer towards an exposition dump. Can you think of another term for "internals", their wish for dominance seems to suggest something more "mind" oriented (impossible since the souls control the mind?), and how come the souls can expose bodies to disease when it is the 'internals' who apparently have control over bodily functions? NItpicks aside, this is brave, thought-provoking stuff - whatever will come next?

JK

Wussyboy wrote 638 days ago

You know, I wasn't sure I was going to like this - the 'chapter 0' prologue didn't quite work for me, but as soon as I hit chapter one I simply could not stop reading. Maggie is a wonderful creation and her step-mother and three brothers truly hideous. This is great new take on the popular Cinderella genre - zombie undead giants interrupting a garden party, lol! - with the hugely put-upon Maggie (whom I initially thought wimpish) finally finding her teeth and her courage. This will, with a little bit of polish, find a very ready audience with the younger teenage market, I'm sure of it.

Six stars from me, David, and on my list for future shelving.

Joe Kovacs
Ginger the Buddha Cat

fictionguy wrote 640 days ago

Edward is quite a character., Whew. Where did you get him from. Howecver, the writing style is good and your narrative goes along with this type of book. It did take me in and I will come back and read some more when it gets less crazy down here. I live in a resort city and the population has double. Even the great grandkids are here. This book will do well and I am giving yoi five stars. Good luck.

Lara wrote 42 days ago

A Cinderella story. You portray the miseries of her life very fully, and add to the crimes of the awful step-mother. I was surprised how calm they both were, in contrast to the boys, when the 6 monstrous beings arrive. Is this quite credible?

However, as a whole, I am sure this novel will be lapped up by girls of about nine.

Good writing

Rosalind Minett
A RELATIVE INVASION

Seringapatam wrote 410 days ago

David. What a fascinating read this is. I certainly wasnt expecting this. It has a lovely flow to it and I love particularly your use of words. The descriptive voice is good in that it is done in such a way that makes me want to get deeper and deeper into the book. I really did enjoy it and can see good things for it in the future.
Sean Connolly. British Army on the Rampage (B.A.O.R) Please consider me for a read or watch list wont you?? Many thanks. Sean

Jaclyn Aurore wrote 465 days ago


YARG review - The Life Inside Maggie Pincus

- I love the start to this book, very Edward Scissorhands...
- the bullying brothers and the list of chores, now reminds me of Cinderella, and my heart breaks for Maggie who can do nothing but obey.

This is well written and i look forward to the fantastical aspect, as I imagine it is the 'guest' that lurks within the bushes.
I've only read the first two chapters, but thought I'd comment now to tell you - kudos and high stars
I do hope life gets better for Maggie Pincus... and life gets worse for the evil stepmother from hell... she deserves her come-upins, as do the beasty brothers

cheers for now
Jaclyn x
It Never Happened

EMCART wrote 526 days ago

YARG review

Hi David

I’ve read the first few chapters of Life Inside and made some notes. I hope they help!

The only negative I have is the prologue, which I would lose. I know prologues are meant to be set apart from the main narrative but it felt like it was from another book altogether. I didn’t realise this was a YA book until I got to the first real chapter. The prologue reads like an adult psychological thriller.
I think publishers are veering away from prologues these days because they are overused, because authors think you have to have one so they jam in something random with a high drama factor that’s basically just a trick to get the reader hooked and not really necessary at all. I’m sure opinions differ so you should Google it to see what editors are saying about this stuff, but I think they should be used with caution and I honestly don’t think your book needs it. I enjoyed the first chapter much more than the prologue, which to be honest I found a bit over dramatic and overly mysterious in the ‘must hook the reader’ vein. I think we’re so used to prologues now that they have to be really good and really necessary because readers see right through them as hook-devices. Personally I find them annoying, but that may be just me so feel free to ignore!
I thought the next few chapters were much better. The writing is excellent, the story flows well and it’s easy to follow. I like the Cinderella aspect, I think the familiarity of that story gives you a way to relate to the characters before you even get to know them. There’s an interesting mix of realism with fairytale grotesque. Maggie is quite down to earth but the stepmother is pure fairytale monster.
Things get quite dramatic quite quickly with the disruption to the garden party, which is another reason I don’t think you need the prologue – the story is exciting enough and readers will stick around long enough to get hooked in chapter 2 or 3.
Overall I think this is really well written, and an interesting premise.

Good luck with the rest of it!

Em

PolythenePram wrote 539 days ago

YARG Review

First of all, fantastic writing. You are a gifted storyteller. I did however, struggle with chapter 0. It read quite adult, was a little confusing (I wasn't quite sure what was happening) and the changes in pov didn't work for me.
However, I loved it once chapter one kicked in. This seemed to have a more natural flow, felt more YA and I immediately connected with poor Maggie
Have shelved as I want to read on. I think if you could clarify the opening a little - this would be really strong

Eve
The Art of Kissing Frogs

Abby Vandiver wrote 576 days ago

The first chapter is ominous, which is good for the most part. It starts off inside of a women's head, then all of the rest of the paragraphs are from a man, until the very end, when it's from the baby's head. Who is telling this story. And, it is quite vague. The first part was excellent. I found myself sitting up in my seat getting drawn in, but then after he leaves out of the kitchen, I don't really understand. And the next chapter has nothing to do with it (neither it seems does the pitch). Once Chapter Two starts I find that it is written for children (unlike Chapter One) and moves along nicely with an easy flow. I find that some of the paragraphs are too long, some even with long dialogues. People usually don't speak in paragraphs.

Good job.

Abby

Alecia Stone wrote 593 days ago

Your description doesn't give much away, so I wasn't sure what to expect, but I must say, thre three chapters I have read so far have been rather enjoyable. I like that there is a visual form to your writing. I love how you describe your setting and characters. It definitely sets the mood well. Maggie is a likable character. She puts me in the mind of Cinderella with her step-brothers and step-mother. The narrative voice in the prologue made me feel a little distant. I felt like an outside or a passer-by not fully able to get in on the action. There is a powerful scene taking place. I wanted it to grab me and pull me in. However, the first chapter had a better hold on me. Your characters took on life and your story took off.

I did notice a few errors, particularly punctuation errors, but it's nothing a quick editing couldn't fix.

Chapter 1:

"I'll be right there(,) Edward," she croaked, still half-asleep.
Always use a comma for direct address.

Of all Maggie's numerous daily chores making breakfast was her most hated.
Awkward sentence structure. I would rephrase.

An enjoyable read. Nicely done.

Alecia :)

cmasonbasiliere wrote 598 days ago

A BHCG review

-Awkward indentation in the second paragraph. You tabbed the first line in for that one but no other paragraphs.

-”....a couple on their wedding day stared out at...” remove “out”

-I read that you intend on making this a children's novel. Chapter 0: New Beginnings, however, doesn't really seem like a children's novel. It's beautifully written, but most of the kids I know like short, sweet and too the point. Maybe it changes after the first chapter. I don't know. Maybe “Young Adult” would be a little more appropriate for the way it's written. Then again, that is subjective.

'“You're welcome ugly,” said Charles”: there should be a comma between “welcome” and “ugly”

After the first two chapters, I feel like it's the beginning of the classic tale. Well done.

morgan60 wrote 600 days ago
benedict wrote 608 days ago

CHIRG review,

Simply fantastic children's writing here David. I am so impressed by this. A truly harrowing opening chapter gives way to the perfect setup for a kids' book with the Roald Dahlesque Cinderella-like Maggie suffering through her days.

Your plot kept me reading all the way to chapter five and I wish I had time to read the whole thing. I can see why you've moved up the rankings so quickly and you clearly deserve to go higher. I would definitely be backing this if I had a space. I know that's easy to say but I really mean it, sadly for you I like to see the books I back all the way through to the desk but if you get within reach or a space opens up I promise I'll try to help out.

I don't have much structural stuff to comment on except that I wasn't completely sure if Maggie is literally deformed or she just thinks of herself as such - was confused by her brother's mushroom comment and her looking in the mirror.

I did notice quite a few minor things - only took notes on the first three chapters sorry, but there were some more in chapter four you should hunt for - especially repeated words in the opening paragraph (bodies x2 sides x2). Anyway I hope these help you, ignore them if you disagree.

Ch 0
For a moment he BECAME/WAS lost in thought
-more direct

you says he revels in the memory of her punishments and then that he takes no pleasure in them. Clearly he's not being truthful with himself but this contradiction is a little too transparent

through the water's surface
-apostrophe

drain downward toward the young face
-not sure drain is a suitable verb here = trail??

the first and last time feeling its basket BURN
-more direct again

Chapt 1

Each with its own perfect lawn and A perfect little family LIVING INSIDE
-I think sounds smoother

I wasn’t sure if the two halfs of her face are literally different or this is a metaphor?

Old, greasy, brown paper bag
-commas

ALL THREE WERE unusually large for their age with broad, muscular chests
-fits in better with the plural at the end and also add the comma

Ch 2
-why make the previous chapter 12 days before the garden party if the next chapter jumps to it. I’d have it be the day before the party so that you have the feel of a consecutive narrative rather than instantly having a big gap in events

A must be invite for…
I don’t think you need the hyphens here, it’s not exactly one of those long lists of words that runs together also I think it should be must have not must be

Today’s group of guests… her with a particularly good BATCH of POTENTIAL husbands
-avoids repetition

None of them WERE intelligent enough
-as none can be plural depending on what compliments it e.g. none of the people are fat not is fat - http://www.grammarmudge.cityslide.com/articles/article/1026513/9903.htm

Someone had gone to the trouble OF SMEARING

Six stars and thanks for backing me, I'll try to get to the desk as soon as possible and free up some space. I promise to come back and read this in full as soon as I do.

Best of luck
Benedict

Lenny Banks wrote 611 days ago

Hi David, I read chapter 5. This is an interesting story, I was thrown at first, (my fault for starting at chapter 5, but that how I operate) but once I got into the story, it was easy to catch up. The idea is new and fresh and being fantasy you can go where you want to. Well Done and Good Luck
Nit Pik: The pitch (at the end) says they want her life twice, am I missing a story plot or is it a typo?

Kindest Regards and Best Wishes
Lenny Banks - Tide and Time: At The Rock

kokako wrote 618 days ago

CHIRG/YARG

Hi David,

I thought I’d finally have a quick look at ‘The Life Inside Maggie Pincus’, as I’ve been meaning to get to it for a while now. It’s a very well written tale and I’m glad I found time for it. If time permits, I hope to get back and read some more, as I suspect this heads off in unexpected directions. Below are a few things I noted as I read. These are just suggestions and I’m no expert, so feel free to use what works for you and discard the rest.

Ch 1

What a chilling start. Is this really a children’s novel? This guy’s giving me the creeps.

1) ‘but she wouldn’t have known that?’
remove the question mark

2) ‘his face curling’
comma after ‘face’

3) ‘high pitched’
hyphen

4) ‘A woman screamed’
comma after ‘screamed’

5) ‘around the boxes edges’
should be ‘around the box’s edges’

6) ‘the waters surface’
should be ‘the water’s surface’

Quite a confusing prologue, but very compelling, and definitely enough to make me want to turn the page.

Ch 2

1) ‘right there Edward’
comma after ‘there’ as you’re addressing someone.

2) ‘an old work jacket wincing’
comma after ‘jacket’

3) ‘those too Pincus’
commas after ‘those’ and ‘too’

4) ‘a move on will you, we’re starving’
should be ‘a move on, will you? We’re starving’

5) ‘dirty blonde hair’
as you’re describing three males, ‘blonde’ should be ‘blond’

6) ‘and broad jaws that all sported at least one cut or bruise’
Did you really want to say that all their jaws sported cuts and bruises?

7) ‘their school uniforms making them look’
comma after ‘uniforms’

8) ‘across the table’
full stop after ‘table’

9) ‘opposite direction, “he scored’
should be ‘opposite direction. “He scored’

10) ‘Hoi Pincus’
comma after ‘Hoi’ as you’re addressing someone.

11) ‘welcome ugly’
comma after ‘welcome’

12) ‘with chips, I will’
full stop after ‘chips’

13) ‘Maggie quickly harried a fresh pot of tea’
‘harried’ should be ‘carried’?

14) ‘the kitchen table glancing briefly’
comma after ‘table’

15) ‘sticky –taped’
remove gap

16) ‘step-mother’
one word

17) ‘It shall do’
comma after ‘do’

18) ‘on the opportunity’
full stop after ‘opportunity’

19) ‘her mind wanting desperately’
comma after ‘mind’

20) ‘day boys, Au revoir’
should be ‘day, boys. Au revoir’

21) ‘at the table’
full stop after ‘table’

22) ‘said Maggie, “he forgot to tell me, he didn’t tell’
full stops after ‘Maggie’ and ‘me’
capital ‘h’ for ‘he’ (both times)

23) ‘Victoria ignoring Maggie’
comma after ‘Victoria’

24) ‘step-daughter’
one word

An interesting start to your story. It sounds like a new twist to Cinderella – with a slight Harry Potter touch. I wonder if it stays that way? You have a nice writing style, with good description and a nice balance between narrative and dialogue. Your story has a good pace and your characterisation is excellent. I can see why it’s done so well. Well done.

Sue

junetee wrote 619 days ago

The life inside Maggie Pincus.

An interesting pitch.
A tense and chilling chapter 0.. I sense a creepy character; a possessive man. I love your use of repetitions- 'Warm as he entered,too warm.' and ''She was a good wife, his good wife.' and ''Let herself down, let him down.'
You manage to make what could be a disturbing scene into a subtle one, for the YA reader. I love the way the walls moan at the end of the chapter.
Chapter one - I couldn't open.
Chapter two- I really enjoyed. Wonderful characters, so much imagination and creativity. This is an amazing story and one I would love to see get to the desk. 6 stars.
junetee
FOUR CORNERS.book one.The Rock Star

junetee wrote 619 days ago

The life inside Maggie Pincus.

An interesting pitch.
A tense and chilling chapter 0.. I sense a creepy character; a possessive man. I love your use of repetitions- 'Warm as he entered,too warm.' and ''She was a good wife, his good wife.' and ''Let herself down, let him down.'
You manage to make what could be a disturbing scene into a subtle one, for the YA reader. I love the way the walls moan at the end of the chapter.
Chapter one - I couldn't open.
Chapter two- I really enjoyed. Wonderful characters, so much imagination and creativity. This is an amazing story and one I would love to see get to the desk. 6 stars.
junetee
FOUR CORNERS.book one.The Rock Star

junetee wrote 619 days ago

The life inside Maggie Pincus.

An interesting pitch.
A tense and chilling chapter 0.. I sense a creepy character; a possessive man. I love your use of repetitions- 'Warm as he entered,too warm.' and ''She was a good wife, his good wife.' and ''Let herself down, let him down.'
You manage to make what could be a disturbing scene into a subtle one, for the YA reader. I love the way the walls moan at the end of the chapter.
Chapter one - I couldn't open.
Chapter two- I really enjoyed. Wonderful characters, so much imagination and creativity. This is an amazing story and one I would love to see get to the desk. 6 stars.
junetee
FOUR CORNERS.book one.The Rock Star

D.J.Milne wrote 625 days ago

CHIG Review
Hi David,
I have just read through your first five chapters. I love your idea for the chapter titles, the Itch, the scratching all the way to the coagulants, the whole range of a spot or sore being picked and then healed. Your character of Maggie is superbly written as are your other cast, the step-brothers and mother, the dead people and Terminus and Janus. You are such a strong descriptive writer and the imagery jumps out the page like a pop-up book. I didn't see any glaring typos, and if they were there then your sparking story line shone so bright that I didn't notice. A solid six stars from me and I can't believe it has taken me all this time to discover your work. A truly wonderful read.
D.J
The Ghost Shirt

morgan60 wrote 628 days ago
morgan60 wrote 628 days ago
morgan60 wrote 628 days ago
Wussyboy wrote 634 days ago

Wow, David, just read your 7 and it's a tour de force of imagination. The last para blew me away. I'm not sure children will "get" the rather complex belief system of "internals" and "souls" warring for control over bodies - it's rather an adult concept, did your kids understand it? - but it worked for me! I've always believed that when the soul and the ego (lesser self) are at odds, the body will fall into ruin and disease. If you truly wish to make this a kids book though, I would seriously consider "simplifying" things - at times, Maggie's dad's explanations veer towards an exposition dump. Can you think of another term for "internals", their wish for dominance seems to suggest something more "mind" oriented (impossible since the souls control the mind?), and how come the souls can expose bodies to disease when it is the 'internals' who apparently have control over bodily functions? NItpicks aside, this is brave, thought-provoking stuff - whatever will come next?

JK

morgan60 wrote 635 days ago
revteapot wrote 635 days ago

I nearly didn't read on to 'chapter 1' - I only did because I happened to notice one of your comments saying how much better it was.
Chapter 1 *is* very good: sets up your characters well, brings us into sympathy with Maggie, draws us into the story and leaves a gentle hook to pull us on into the coming chapters.
If I were you, I would abandon the prologue (which I could not follow at all) and begin with Maggie. Any information from the prologue that the reader needs to know, I sure you can feed in by flashback or some such. If you really must keep it, then you really must give it a thorough once-over. I had a suspicion that there were several 'he's but I couldn't fathom who was doing what.
And, incidentally, 6 month babies can't usually sort out their own blankets.

Sorry to come across so negative, but the contrast between prologue and chpt 1 was so great I was almost cross that - as skilled as you seem from chpt 1 - you had left me in the muddle that was the opening piece.
If you do decide to re-write the prologue, and have retained any interest in my opinion, you can give me a shout and I'll take another look, if you wish.

Lindsay
A Priest's Tale

Wussyboy wrote 637 days ago

Well, you've done it again, David. I just peeked back in on Maggie for a moment, and half an hour later I was still reading. This really is good stuff! Maggie being rescued first by a party of literate ants (reminded me of my Sparky!) and then by a spinning dervish who whisks her away to a reconstituted 9 Breezy Lane where her whole undead family are magically alive again is wonderful storytelling - I bet your kids are enjoying this! Okay, I'm in the middle of chap 7, have to eat now, but will return for more soon. How is Maggie now the most beautiful girl in the world? How is her father back from the dead? Can't wait to find out...

(oh, I get now that Maggie's face, and apparently half of her brain, were eaten away by nasties in chap zero - but doesn't that make the baby a GIRL, not a boy?)

Wussyboy wrote 638 days ago

You know, I wasn't sure I was going to like this - the 'chapter 0' prologue didn't quite work for me, but as soon as I hit chapter one I simply could not stop reading. Maggie is a wonderful creation and her step-mother and three brothers truly hideous. This is great new take on the popular Cinderella genre - zombie undead giants interrupting a garden party, lol! - with the hugely put-upon Maggie (whom I initially thought wimpish) finally finding her teeth and her courage. This will, with a little bit of polish, find a very ready audience with the younger teenage market, I'm sure of it.

Six stars from me, David, and on my list for future shelving.

Joe Kovacs
Ginger the Buddha Cat

Hansens wrote 639 days ago
fictionguy wrote 640 days ago

Edward is quite a character., Whew. Where did you get him from. Howecver, the writing style is good and your narrative goes along with this type of book. It did take me in and I will come back and read some more when it gets less crazy down here. I live in a resort city and the population has double. Even the great grandkids are here. This book will do well and I am giving yoi five stars. Good luck.

JJ Valentine wrote 640 days ago

Whew! What a beginning! I'm off to read more.

Stormshine wrote 642 days ago

I enjoyed these first couple chapters. I liked how you described Maggie's deformed features and how there are two halves of her. The POV switches mid-scene put me off a bit, which includes the man hiding during the prologue and the sudden but temporary switch from Maggie's POV during the garden party.

Personally, I think that the attitude of Victoria and her sons were a little overdone. There ate ways to be just as unfair and cruel, but more subtle. For instance, giving everyone chores but the boys' chores being the easiest and most likely to receive praise. Never saying that Maggie needs to be hidden but always coming up for an excuse why she can't be in public ("You know how the sun upsets your skin condition," etc). Even telling her so often that she's scared of strangers that she herself believes it. Also, maybe adding some great charitable work Victoria is involved in at the party that makes her admirable to the neighbors. That subtle unfairness, where we as a reader can see it but Victoria can make it sound fair, tends to evoke more of an emotional response.

Lynn Demarest wrote 646 days ago

A BHCG review

The Life Inside Maggie Pincus
David I. Billingham

READING NOTES

Chapter 0: What are you, a computer programmer.

The only thing I have to say about the short first chapter is that I'm not sure what's going on. I guessed the wife was cheating at first, but then it appears that she was attacked.

Then we get the strange smoke coming out of the box left by the baby's head, the smoke that eventually moves inside of the baby.

The returning father is a male chauvenist pig and a sadist, I guess. He seems to be lying to himself that he doesn't like punishing her. He's mad because the heat is too high, the dishes aren't done, his desk disturbed. (I've actually known anal men who insist on everything being in its perfect place, but the reaction stopped short of punishment.)

He apparently runs upstairs after hearing his wife being, what?, attacked? But then he's hiding behind a bookcase...I'm confused.

Top of his class at what, the police academy?

He leaves the baby in a house on fire? Why is it on fire? Is it the blue smoke thingy? Why does the man not want a son? Aren't girls the unwanted ones normally, especially by male chauvenist pigs?

Why can't I change the font size?


Chapter 1: Ignoring the Itch

Breezy Lane WOULD make my top ten list!

Maggie is 12, awakened by a man who wants his breakfast.
Is she schizophrenic?

The fat had taken refuge in their minds...so they're "fat heads!"

Maggie is looking like a Cinderella character...

I like the entrance of Lady Pincus..."with a nose that pointed up and a mouth that hung down..."

I want to know the French. How did Andrew say one thing while meaning another? What is the French? Are the two phrases close?


Chapter 2: Scratching the Surface

Lady Pincus looks for a replacement husband.

Is Maggie the baby in he basket?

Maggie hears people talking in the kitchen, doesn't see them. Ghosts?

Another scream!

Charles stops screaming and freezes, pointing at the bushes, but then is screaming again?

"The last of the guests had arrived." Cute.


Chapter 3: A Break in the Skin

The last guests are the undead?

"I'm sure they just want to talk to you..." Ha! I laughed.

Why do the monsters send Lady Pincus to fetch Maggie? They could certainly do it themselves, it seems.

like "grizzle into a snarl"

Not being allowed to go to school? Isn't that a crime?

"he was rich and still is" ... but perhaps not with money?

Lady Pincus's attitude toward Maggie changes abruptly, even though she doesn't know how much money we're talking?

Ah! Maggie won't tell her where the money is! Why has she kept it a secret so long? Why doesn't she use it herself, to facilitate her escape?

But was she REALLY kidding?


OK, at this point I've got to say your ascension at authonomy is warranted. The story is a little strange, a Stephen King-like horror, but the truth is that you have me in your grasp at this point, despite the dangling questions.


Chapter 4: Sucking at the Wound

How is Maggie confessing the money is a lie going to fix things? Lady Pincus has insulted her guests!

Superman rescues her from her evil step-mother. Does the guy not know what a door is?

breaktaking might be one word

The Internals...ah, so Maggie IS the baby.

What DID take them so long to go get her?

Hmmmm. Why is the transport so painful, I wonder.


Chapters are nice and short, which makes the book read fast.



Chapter 5: Removing Dead Skin

Maggie finds herself transported to a new, seemingly perfect, life. Even her deformity is fixed.

Arac is her new, younger brother?

Her father...so she's visiting the afterlife, or she's dead?

I'm getting Alice in Wonderland...

"office" wasn't capitalized?

Same ol' Maggy? Didn't he die when she was very young?

I sure hope you can explain all this!

BACKED IT!

Lynn Demarest wrote 646 days ago

A BHCG review

The Life Inside Maggie Pincus
David I. Billingham

READING NOTES

Chapter 0: What are you, a computer programmer.

The only thing I have to say about the short first chapter is that I'm not sure what's going on. I guessed the wife was cheating at first, but then it appears that she was attacked.

Then we get the strange smoke coming out of the box left by the baby's head, the smoke that eventually moves inside of the baby.

The returning father is a male chauvenist pig and a sadist, I guess. He seems to be lying to himself that he doesn't like punishing her. He's mad because the heat is too high, the dishes aren't done, his desk disturbed. (I've actually known anal men who insist on everything being in its perfect place, but the reaction stopped short of punishment.)

He apparently runs upstairs after hearing his wife being, what?, attacked? But then he's hiding behind a bookcase...I'm confused.

Top of his class at what, the police academy?

He leaves the baby in a house on fire? Why is it on fire? Is it the blue smoke thingy? Why does the man not want a son? Aren't girls the unwanted ones normally, especially by male chauvenist pigs?

Why can't I change the font size?


Chapter 1: Ignoring the Itch

Breezy Lane WOULD make my top ten list!

Maggie is 12, awakened by a man who wants his breakfast.
Is she schizophrenic?

The fat had taken refuge in their minds...so they're "fat heads!"

Maggie is looking like a Cinderella character...

I like the entrance of Lady Pincus..."with a nose that pointed up and a mouth that hung down..."

I want to know the French. How did Andrew say one thing while meaning another? What is the French? Are the two phrases close?


Chapter 2: Scratching the Surface

Lady Pincus looks for a replacement husband.

Is Maggie the baby in he basket?

Maggie hears people talking in the kitchen, doesn't see them. Ghosts?

Another scream!

Charles stops screaming and freezes, pointing at the bushes, but then is screaming again?

"The last of the guests had arrived." Cute.


Chapter 3: A Break in the Skin

The last guests are the undead?

"I'm sure they just want to talk to you..." Ha! I laughed.

Why do the monsters send Lady Pincus to fetch Maggie? They could certainly do it themselves, it seems.

like "grizzle into a snarl"

Not being allowed to go to school? Isn't that a crime?

"he was rich and still is" ... but perhaps not with money?

Lady Pincus's attitude toward Maggie changes abruptly, even though she doesn't know how much money we're talking?

Ah! Maggie won't tell her where the money is! Why has she kept it a secret so long? Why doesn't she use it herself, to facilitate her escape?

But was she REALLY kidding?


OK, at this point I've got to say your ascension at authonomy is warranted. The story is a little strange, a Stephen King-like horror, but the truth is that you have me in your grasp at this point, despite the dangling questions.


Chapter 4: Sucking at the Wound

How is Maggie confessing the money is a lie going to fix things? Lady Pincus has insulted her guests!

Superman rescues her from her evil step-mother. Does the guy not know what a door is?

breaktaking might be one word

The Internals...ah, so Maggie IS the baby.

What DID take them so long to go get her?

Hmmmm. Why is the transport so painful, I wonder.


Chapters are nice and short, which makes the book read fast.



Chapter 5: Removing Dead Skin

Maggie finds herself transported to a new, seemingly perfect, life. Even her deformity is fixed.

Arac is her new, younger brother?

Her father...so she's visiting the afterlife, or she's dead?

I'm getting Alice in Wonderland...

"office" wasn't capitalized?

Same ol' Maggy? Didn't he die when she was very young?

I sure hope you can explain all this!

Backed it.

morgan60 wrote 646 days ago

this is a book i will keep to read again in the future

morgan60 wrote 647 days ago
morgan60 wrote 652 days ago
morgan60 wrote 656 days ago
morgan60 wrote 656 days ago
Cara Gold wrote 657 days ago

{The Life Inside Maggie Pincus} – David I. Billingham

You captured my attention immediately from the pitch, I couldn’t wait to get stuck into the story. I also like the ‘Chapter 0’ instead of calling it ‘prologue’, a nice original touch already!

First thing that struck me was your writing style; very enjoyable to read. I also like your use of repetitions for emphasis, ‘warm as he entered, too warm.’… ‘she was a good wife, his good wife’… ‘let herself down, let him down.’ There’s a strong character voice here that engaged me from the beginning. You also succeeded in making me connect to a bit of a creepy character, a possessive man. Extremely well handled, delightful in a chilling way. You also managed to convey a brutal scene in a subtle manner, which is of course important given this is a children’s book.

I like the atmosphere built in the prologue. Near the end, the personification of the room with the walls beginning to moan -- this deliciously invites us into the scene and my attention was caught.

Chapter one and we’re introduced to Maggie; the way you describe her features is absolutely beautiful (even the deformed half of her face). I liked the image of ‘a permanent grimace that wilted loosely to the side.’ Loved the word ‘wilted’ because of how it reminds me of a plant… a flower... Although there is the ugliness and deformity, there is also a soft hint of her once being beautiful.

Small nit in chapter one; should be dirty blond hair without the ‘e’ for Charles, Andrew and Edward (because they are men, ‘blonde’ is feminine)

You do a great job of making the reader sympathise with Maggie and engage with her situation. Especially in chapter two when she is washing the dishes, and the little detail of the pieces of tuna making her want to vomit.

The pacing is excellent; the rise and fall of tension, and the big cliff hanger at the end of chapter 2.

In chapter 3, I just have a little feedback to do with Victoria – there is a paragraph in her POV with her ‘feeling a surge of anger’. Now I’m not about to say ‘don’t head-hop’ because there is nothing wrong; I just feel like I would actually like to be inside Victoria’s head a little longer, so we really understand what she is feeling and thinking at this point.

Anyway overall this is great stuff and polished writing. I like the subtle Cinderella feel to begin, however this is rapidly taking its own unique turn and I have watchlisted for further reading! High stars and best of luck :)

Cara

morgan60 wrote 658 days ago
morgan60 wrote 659 days ago
morgan60 wrote 660 days ago

keeps u wanting to read more

forenacct wrote 660 days ago

David, you are a wonderful and masterful storyteller!! Your ideas are original and artistic, and I can't wait to see more of your work!!

morgan60 wrote 661 days ago
Sara Stinson wrote 663 days ago

David,

I have read chapters 1 and 2 so far. Your characters are descriptive and clear. The boys are muscular and definitely enjoy bullying and torturing poor Maggie. They are not too bright. I already have great empathy for the disfigured Maggie and hate the woman dressed in black.

Highly rated! Sara Stinson
Finger Bones

morgan60 wrote 663 days ago
morgan60 wrote 665 days ago

book i will keep and maybe share

David Price wrote 667 days ago

David, I've read another 3 chapters today, and am completely won over by the sheer originality of your writing and the gorgeous, imaginative story telling. There are still minor issues with typos and the odd phrase, but these pale in comparison to the achievement. Hope to finish it soon, but definitely on my list to be backed at the earliest opportunity. And I'm upgrading it to six stars.
David
MASTER ACT: a memoir

morgan60 wrote 667 days ago

interesting about the fact that maggie needs to take a bath b4 eating

Tilly Newton wrote 668 days ago

This is fab, David! Such a wonderful story for readers young and old! Oh, and I love how Maggie needs to take a bath whenever she eats. Backed, highly-starred and recommended!

morgan60 wrote 669 days ago

interesting and original

morgan60 wrote 669 days ago
Louise Millar wrote 669 days ago

This has Universal appeal. I'm talking age range, and Genre. Check it out! One to watch.

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