Book Jacket

 

rank 2695
word count 10840
date submitted 11.05.2012
date updated 31.03.2013
genres: Fiction, Chick Lit, Romance, Histor...
classification: adult
incomplete

Walking on Eggshells

Caroline Langford

Painfully shy Irene thought she had escaped the confines of her childhood when she met Joe Leslie.

 

From London during world war II, to Melbourne and Tel Aviv in the 60's and 70's, Walking On Eggshells tells the story of shy and intimidated Irene who spends her life obeying all that command her. Her parents rule her with an iron hand and she escapes to the arms of Joe Leslie, a larger than life handsome TV actor and director. Joe, a cockney character with a continually expanding ego, leads Irene in a journey of drugs, gambling and abuse.

 
rate the book

to rate this book please Register or Login

 

tags

, 1930's, 1940's, 1950's, 1960's, 1970's, abuse, australia, blitz, british, cockney, england, israel, london, melbourne, tel aviv, world war 2

on 3 watchlists

16 comments

 

To leave comments on this or any book please Register or Login

subscribe to comments for this book
David Price wrote 684 days ago

Caroline, I've read all you've posted now, and continue to find this a sweet, authentic tale. I think chapter 4 is particularly well realized, and I like the way you blend what is in many ways an old-fashioned tale with the contemporary elements in Chapter 1. Your dialogue is spot-on, and the characters are real and believable. High stars.
The only constructive thing I have to say is that for a girl/woman who is so manipulated by those around her, I would like to see a little more expression of her insecurities and vulnerabilities. I say this with particular reference to the title, which I think is great. So far, we get only a limited sense that Irene is 'Walking On Eggshells'. There were also a couple of American spellings in Chapters 4 and 5, so if you want total authenticity, you need to spell neighbour with a 'u' and labour with a 'u'.
Hope you find this helpful. And thanks again for your continuing support.
David

sandy-1 wrote 688 days ago

Walking on Eggshells.

This is an amazing story, set in the times I've often thought of writing about. My mother often talks about her past and I have so many of her memories in my head, of her childhood in the war, and her adult life in the late fifties. In England it was so different to how it is today.
This book brings the past alive again. Leslie's life is so 'real' it feels almost as though she's telling us her story.
I have read two chapters but will definitely be coming back for more. I enjoyed the comfortable style of the writing. It flows beautifully and the dialogue works so well.
I think Jo is a great character. He cracked me up with his witty remarks - particularly the piece about the dogs;
'Jo winked and popped a polo mint in his mouth.
''Not to worry Nanny Mr. L has always wanted a fur rug, let the babies shed all they want, and then we should have enough for that.''
I also think Jo's character represents the selfish man of his time. My father was one of many. It was only later in life when he realised just how selfish he was.
Chap 2; Because of the war Irene's childhood was in secure. She was like a lot of children at this time,whether they were away from their families or not. And it left me thinking , very deeply, how lucky we are today. Well written.
I liked the character Mr Reeves. He was a great addition to the story and showed how people trusted their neighbours in the past, allowing children to wander. Its a pity it can't be like that today, its like we've lost something in our lives. And to think, the person the children should be kept away is actually their aunt who theyre living with. You have done a wonderful job portraying these kind of things.
As far as problems with the book there weren't any.
I was a bit curious about the Mickey mouse gas masks though?
And there are quite a few edits - most of them have already been pointed out. But they are minor and we all have them.
This is a brilliant story and should do very well.
6 stars - youre backed!

Ruby Middleton
'Will Ryan'

Stephanie Mortimer wrote 699 days ago

Hi Caroline, as promised I've read the first three chapters so far and thoroughly enjoyed them. I settled into your writing style very easily which flows nicely and with good dialogue. Chapter one was great, gave an insight to Jo and Irene's relationship and I really got a feel for the couple. I liked how you transport to Irene's youth in chapter two and found her story very moving and believable. All in all a fab read and I'll be back to read more when time is permitting. I've put you on my watch list and rated well.

I look forward to hearing your feedback on Feathers.

Stephanie Mortimer - Feathers

Cariad wrote 704 days ago

Was a bit confused by 'Jo' which is normally the female one. 'Joe' being the man, but I got used to it. Not my normal read, but surprised at how quickly I slipped into the story and whizzed through the first chapter. Good characters, well set up story and a good premise in the pitch. You clearly have a knack for readablility and storytelling, so what's not to like? Haven't read enough to give a very helpful or constructive crit as such, but I shall read on and hopefully say more then. Have some stars for now.
Cariad.

chuckylivesinme wrote 682 days ago

Walking on Eggshells

These are just my thoughts as I read through your work...Please use, enjoy, or disregard as you wish, mine is just another opinion in a sea of plenty...

Cover & Title – Very nice, well done. Cover is v distinctive

Short Pitch + Long Pitch – SP is good, long pitch gives us enough of a flavour. Def enough here to make your readers want to read on. You have a comma in the wrong place after ego in the LP.

Notes as I read.

Chapter 1 – Very good opening chapter, we get a very good flavour of both main characters and their situations, although we don’t see anything of Jo’s bad temper, you just tell us about it, might be better to give us a small flash back instead of telling us, doesn’t have to be much just a paragraph but it would work well to show us immediately why she’s walking on eggshells

Chapter 2 – The end para at the end of the first section re heating seems out of place...they have just got there, it would work better in the next bit.

Chapter 3 – Her language here fooled me into thinking she was younger than she actually was. Made me think she was only about 8 or 9 which is impossible for the second part of the chapter. Not sure if it’s an issue or just my understanding as I read.

Chapter 4 – Nice chapter, bit too much narrative in places, too much telling rather than showing but that’s your style and it still flows.

Chapter 5 – V short chapter but effective.

Over all this was a good read, the heavy narrative in places does slow it down but the style and content carry it through. I read all that was posted and my only concern is not seeing enough of the “Walking on egg shells” with either her husband or her parents. We are 5 chapters in and apart from the aunt we don’t really see anything else yet. We should be well into what makes her shy and intimidated by now.

Your style is narrative heavy, but when you let your dialogue in, the speed picks up and it’s entertaining. Irene is coming across as a naive young lady, where as Jo is the life and soul of the party. It’s true that opposites attract, these are poles apart in years and behaviours but they complement each other well.

I have given this some stars, will list and be back to read more when you post it. I will support it along the way once I have a free spot.

David Price wrote 684 days ago

Caroline, I've read all you've posted now, and continue to find this a sweet, authentic tale. I think chapter 4 is particularly well realized, and I like the way you blend what is in many ways an old-fashioned tale with the contemporary elements in Chapter 1. Your dialogue is spot-on, and the characters are real and believable. High stars.
The only constructive thing I have to say is that for a girl/woman who is so manipulated by those around her, I would like to see a little more expression of her insecurities and vulnerabilities. I say this with particular reference to the title, which I think is great. So far, we get only a limited sense that Irene is 'Walking On Eggshells'. There were also a couple of American spellings in Chapters 4 and 5, so if you want total authenticity, you need to spell neighbour with a 'u' and labour with a 'u'.
Hope you find this helpful. And thanks again for your continuing support.
David

BessV wrote 686 days ago

I read originally this as part of a read swap and just kept on reading. It's very entertaining. It reminds me of a family saga/epic. I could almost see adding even more detail from Irene's younger years and possibly even starting with her young self, maybe during the war. I liked getting into the nitty gritty of her family life, and it makes such an interesting contrast with the glamour/horror of her married life. I'm very interested to know what becomes of Irene. Nice job!

sandy-1 wrote 688 days ago

Walking on Eggshells.

This is an amazing story, set in the times I've often thought of writing about. My mother often talks about her past and I have so many of her memories in my head, of her childhood in the war, and her adult life in the late fifties. In England it was so different to how it is today.
This book brings the past alive again. Leslie's life is so 'real' it feels almost as though she's telling us her story.
I have read two chapters but will definitely be coming back for more. I enjoyed the comfortable style of the writing. It flows beautifully and the dialogue works so well.
I think Jo is a great character. He cracked me up with his witty remarks - particularly the piece about the dogs;
'Jo winked and popped a polo mint in his mouth.
''Not to worry Nanny Mr. L has always wanted a fur rug, let the babies shed all they want, and then we should have enough for that.''
I also think Jo's character represents the selfish man of his time. My father was one of many. It was only later in life when he realised just how selfish he was.
Chap 2; Because of the war Irene's childhood was in secure. She was like a lot of children at this time,whether they were away from their families or not. And it left me thinking , very deeply, how lucky we are today. Well written.
I liked the character Mr Reeves. He was a great addition to the story and showed how people trusted their neighbours in the past, allowing children to wander. Its a pity it can't be like that today, its like we've lost something in our lives. And to think, the person the children should be kept away is actually their aunt who theyre living with. You have done a wonderful job portraying these kind of things.
As far as problems with the book there weren't any.
I was a bit curious about the Mickey mouse gas masks though?
And there are quite a few edits - most of them have already been pointed out. But they are minor and we all have them.
This is a brilliant story and should do very well.
6 stars - youre backed!

Ruby Middleton
'Will Ryan'

David Price wrote 691 days ago

Have enjoyed the first two chapters Caroline. It is an interesting, touching story, with colourful and believable characters. Some of your phrasing is delightful, and funny too. I particularly enjoyed the line 'the first time she heard the word, she thought libido was an exotic fruit'.
I did spot a few places that could benefit from tightening up, or where you haven't quite got the correct idiomatic expression. 'me-self' should not have the hyphen, because then it reads as too separate words and not the 'meself' you intend. In chapter 2, you use the American spelling of 'theater' which should be 'theatre' in England.
In chapter 1, there is a typo. It should be 'begun to wear off' not 'began'. I also think you don't need the 'soon' in 'and soon everyone began to disburse'. In Chapter 2, you repeat 'to' or 'in' 'the countryside' in successive paragraphs. You won't lose anything by cutting the second reference.
Hope some of this helps.
David

KirkH wrote 696 days ago

Hi Caroline.
Don't find too many people from L.A. here on this site. I'm also from L.A. originally, (now in Germany).
You have an interesting acting background too - cool. Had to look at your book, since I've also wrote a chick-lit, (difficult for a man, by the way :-)
I like the title and the book cover.
Minor nit-pic in the synopsis: bring the comma closer to the word "ego".
As in an earlier comment, I also found Jo to be normally used for a female, so I also got confused for a moment.
You may want to consider changing names, such as Joe, for example.
The quotation marks in your story look like big, black rectangles, and I found it strange; it diverted my attention away from the beginning of your story. Is there a way to change that?
Question in the following sentence: "Irene dutifully collected Jo's request. She always obeyed him."
I think from the synopsis and her behavior you can easily remove the last part, "She always obeyed him." It seems obvious.
Since Jo is speaking some sort of British English, I assume the story is in the UK, but I wasn't sure since there was no mention so far of a place. I thought by the time Jo and Irene are at this fancy party, there would have been some mentioning of where the characters were, so that also distracted me.
After seeing the "game" and the visit to the casino, Jo is a jerk and poor Irene is a victim stuck in a bad situation; wrapped up in a world of fame and fortune. Perfect set up.
I think you need some sort of transition between chapters one and two. We go directly from Irene falling asleep (assuming) in Jo's car in the parking lot outside a casino to WWII London, when Irene was a child. Maybe you should write something that sleep overtook her as she thought about her childhood.
In the beginning of chapter three, I got confused to where and when I was in the story. Nothing was mentioned. Then in chapter four, it says, "1951, a year later." By this point I would have returned to the present day with Jo and Irene's marriage, because I feel like you're distancing the original story in chapter one. It would be better if you interweave the back-story and the present story closer.
I hope you find these comments helpful. You do have a good story and I'm wondering how Irene is going to find ways to be more assertive to Jo and find a way to improve the marriage. Or if things spiral down, how will Irene find a way to get out.
The story has great potential and I'm backing that potential.
All the best
Kirk

SallyXB wrote 697 days ago

Hi Caroline. It's a very interesting start. I think at times less could be more though - you tell us twice that Irene obeys Jo in the first couple of pars. I think from the excellent description on their behaviours you demonstrate that very well, so there's no need to labour the point. Both characters are established well to my mind and it feels like a promising start.

Sally
Four Movements

Stephanie Mortimer wrote 699 days ago

Hi Caroline, as promised I've read the first three chapters so far and thoroughly enjoyed them. I settled into your writing style very easily which flows nicely and with good dialogue. Chapter one was great, gave an insight to Jo and Irene's relationship and I really got a feel for the couple. I liked how you transport to Irene's youth in chapter two and found her story very moving and believable. All in all a fab read and I'll be back to read more when time is permitting. I've put you on my watch list and rated well.

I look forward to hearing your feedback on Feathers.

Stephanie Mortimer - Feathers

Cyrus Hood wrote 701 days ago

Hi Caroline,
Glad to see that you are supporting Karen Bates-her book is shooting up the ratings.
I know someone just like Irene and you descriptions of her life are vivid and authentic, you have a great feel for the world around you.
I only spotted one small error 'your bleeding again' - should be 'you're bleeding again.' Otherwise a promising work that I have watch listed with a load of stars.

Perhaps I can tempt you to have a look at Hellion 2 - which is also set in WW2, but in France, I would appreciate your comments.

regards

Cyrus

L_MC wrote 702 days ago

Hi Caroline, I've just read the five chapters currently uploaded. Poor Irene, she doesn't have much luck. From an over-strict disciplinarian aunt, to a mother living out her own dreams through her daughter, to a controlling husband with no respect for her.

I like the idea of the story as set out in the pitch and interested to see how Irene copes with the difficulties she encounters.

One little thing I noticed, the WW2 chapters are set in England, with English characters but she's locked in the closet, rather than the wardrobe.

Strong opening chapters.

Tod Schneider wrote 704 days ago

This is well written. The story flows well, and we quickly build empathy for Irene. I think this looks promising -- best of luck with it!
-- Tod
authonomy.com/books/40646/the-lost-wink

Cariad wrote 704 days ago

Was a bit confused by 'Jo' which is normally the female one. 'Joe' being the man, but I got used to it. Not my normal read, but surprised at how quickly I slipped into the story and whizzed through the first chapter. Good characters, well set up story and a good premise in the pitch. You clearly have a knack for readablility and storytelling, so what's not to like? Haven't read enough to give a very helpful or constructive crit as such, but I shall read on and hopefully say more then. Have some stars for now.
Cariad.

celticwriter wrote 704 days ago

Greetings Caroline! Loving your work. Love the genre. I'm not a critic, just a fellow who appreciates a good visual journey. On watch list for now!

blessings,
jim

Karamak wrote 706 days ago

Hi Caroline, have read the first 3 chapters, poor Irene she is certainly learning to walk on egg shells everyone seems to have it in for her, even when she becomes a woman she gets a slap! Beautifully written and I could feel the atmosphere and tension building, have W/L and will read more, all the best Karen Faking it in France.

carolinelangford wrote 706 days ago

thats for sure!
I look forward to your comments on my book when you have read some.
Thanks:-)

livvicmjlx wrote 706 days ago

This seems really good, keep working on it. I love the name, I really like searching for hidden meanings in names and 'Irene' is the greek goddess of peace I do believe. In my book, someones last name is 'Irenea' deriving from the same meaning, great minds eh? ;)

1