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Waiting for the Light to Change

March 13, 2009

The book doesn’t do what I thought it did in my earlier comment. It’s not just cultural Mormonism; there’s a very lovely Wyoming pioneer epiphany at the end. Sarah, the protagonist, both hits rock bottom and is redeemed/strengthened by God. I wonder if there would have been a way to show more of her faith earlier on, without destroying the pain Annette Haws worked to create. I don’t know. It was a really great book though, and one I never would have picked up based on its cover or even dust jacket blurb(sorry, Cedar Fort). So I’m grateful to the Whitneys for introducing me to it. I’m going to see if I can get my book group to discuss it.

The book is a redemptive tragedy, and I would call it Shakespearean except to be candid my memory of the last time I really studied Shakespeare is fuzzy, and I don’t recall all the elements of a perfect Greek/Shakespearean tragedy. But great stuff, though. Recommended.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Lyle permalink
    March 13, 2009 8:19 pm

    It is great to get feedback. Covers are so subjective. Show me a couple of covers that you do like (both LDS and national.)

  2. Emily permalink*
    March 13, 2009 9:07 pm

    *blushes* Backtracking here: people who design covers know much more about these things than I do. You know design, target audience, etc. So I am just giving my two cents, for what it’s worth…

    Since you asked, to me the cover says “Lifetime Made for TV movie.” And on a superficial level, there is that element to the book: you’ve got a single mom, you’ve got a romance, you’ve got a terrible tragedy happening to the mom that she has to deal with and get through and emerge stronger.

    The problem with the cover, IMHO, is that it sells the book short. It’s so much more than a Lifetime Original movie. It’s well-written, it’s funny, and it speaks to deep, resonant Mormon themes. Is there a way to attract the Lifetime movie audience while still hinting at the book’s literariness? As I mentioned in a comment over at LDS Publisher, this book has not been on the radar of the AML sort of reader, and it fully deserves to be. I wonder if it’s been dismissed in part because it looks like another chick book.

    Some covers I like… the cover of Angela Hallstrom’s Bound on Earth. All the covers for the Shannon Hale books (Goose Girl, etc.). Those covers are engaging, and they also say “when you open this book, you’re going to find good writing inside.” I just feel like the cover may sell the book to the type of women who buy books, which I guess is what it’s designed to do, but it doesn’t speak to the great quality of writing inside.

  3. Marcia permalink
    March 17, 2009 3:41 am

    Hi. I’ve really enjoyed your comments on LDSPublisher. I thought this book was really good too. One thing I loved about this book was how real the main character is and the way she handled a few situations. She retaliated in ways that surprised me, but made her seem so authentic because heck I would think about doing those things too. Many of us would, but we hardly ever seen main characters in LDS fiction do those kinds of things. Hope you know what I mean. Anway, enjoyed your post and I don’t know if I would have read this one either except for the Whitneys.

  4. Emily permalink*
    March 17, 2009 3:45 am

    Thanks, Marcia, for stopping by. 🙂 And I agree. She was so real, and she made some tragic decisions, but that made the book even stronger, I felt. The author allowed her to fail.

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