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Jennifer was told in kindergarten she could not color the sky red because it was in reality blue. She recalls replying to her teacher she could paint the sky red if she desired because fire engines were red and red was pretty. If the sky was pretty as well, which in her mind it was, then why couldn't it be red? It made perfect sense to her...
Growing up with such imagination gave Jennifer the passion to find the unusual in everything she came across. When she discovered her quill at a young age her stories were no different. She queried her first publisher at age twelve, in pink ink, and began from that day on to aspire to publication.
Running with scissors proved to be jolly good sport...
Her passion lies in crafting stories from forgotten pieces of history and setting them in locations just outside the expected. She focuses on unusual themes and locations, all in the backdrop of the intrigue of the 19th century. Jennifer has as much of a passion for the history of the Habsburg Empire and the allure Austrian culture, as she does for the quiet rolling hills of New England. She only has one rule with her historicals: Expect the unexpected.
It was her love of research and classic literature that brought her to expanding Leroux's The Phantom of the Opera.
Writing from a tiny loft office, Jennifer admits to being country mouse with city mouse tastes and is constantly fighting to keep the little critters in line. She can't pronounce pistachio, hates lollipops with gooey centers, and dearly loves to laugh. If asked for her motto in life, she points to the following poem upon her office wall:
Come to the edge. We might fall. Come to the edge. It's too high! COME TO THE EDGE! And they came, and he pushed, and they flew. ~ Christopher Logue
Ok, let me just start by saying that I think it's really hilarious that this book's subtitle is "A novel of GL's POTO." Every other subtitle like that I've seen has been like "A novel of Richard III" or "A novel of Marie Antoinette." Since GL'S POTO was in itself a novel, this is a really weird subtitle.
Let me continue by saying that I'm going to be slightly harder on this book than maybe is necessary simply because it is claiming to be a continuation of GL's book, with all that it implies. There were two main categories of issues/problems: the historical/literary, and the plot based ones. (And let me wrap up by saying I would actually have given this 2.5 stars if I could have)
Historical & literary problems: I will preface this by saying that GL's original book is in itself many ways a fairy tale, playing fast and loose with the social conventions of the day for the sake of a good story, so many things I let slide. However, other reviewers have claimed this book follows the style and setting of GL's book, and I just didn't see it. For example:
1. Everyone calling everyone by first names. Near strangers would never have referred to Anna as "Anna." Christine and Raoul wouldn't have introduced themselves as "Christine and Raoul."
2. The plethora of "screw _____" "son-of-a-bitch" and "bastard"s, as well as an alarming number of men thinking about their own erect penises, really took away from whatever feeling there was of this being in the style or manner of GL.
3. On page 142, a character says "Do all Barret's have such audacity?" Lord almighty. Barret is NOT a possessive in that sentence. There should not be an apostrophe there.
Plot/character problems: 1. Anna is just so damn understanding.Read more ›
Madrigal: A Novel of Gaston Leroux's The Phantom of the Opera by Jennifer Linforth
"My story? I am a murderer. A murderer and a Maestro, a magician and a mastermind. There is nothing in this world I have not mastered, nothing unattainable beyond my grasp. I am a wealthy, powerful genius, with the voice of an angel and the soul of a madman..." --Jennifer Linforth's Phantom
The above quote has got to be my favorite of all in the novel titled Madrigal. Madrigal is the story of the Phantom of the Opera years after Christine had left Erik for Raoul. Small packages of paper, figs, and ink have been left by an anonymous stranger for the Phantom, but who after all these years, and even after faking his own death, would want to reach out to him now?
A man still in love with a woman that wants nothing to do with him, finds love in a woman that is the exact opposite of Christine. Le Fantome, is forced to reappear when the managers of the Opera Garnier make plans for a con. With this con, there will come a lot of trouble, trouble only the real Phantom can control.
Anna knows the man beneath the mask, she knows there is a war raging inside of him, and to her, he is the only man she can see herself loving; even if she has to rate as second best. Anna shows Erik compassion, passion, and a love that she has never been shown herself. A young lady that has been pawned off by her deadbeat con of a father, Anna has suffered the life no lady should have to experience. When Erik reveals his disfigurement to her, Anna is taken aback but only for a moment, she knows the man with golden eyes, she knows his heart, and she will not see him for the monster everyone claims he was, she will see the man, the man Erik longs to be.Read more ›
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If you love Phantom of the Opera, and you want a realistic and fair continuation (with hardship, sadness, happiness, love, loss, redemption...) of Gaston Leroux's novel, you must read MADRIGAL! Erik transforms in this novel. The habbits and oddities that he should have are still a part of his soul. This novel puts Frederick Forsyth's continuation to utter shame. And you'll have 2 more in the series to look forward to after reading MADRIGAL.
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Writing a book is a labor of love...and as a book lover, I have a great deal of admiration for authors--even bad ones, or good ones, whose work I don't care for--for their courage, drive, and perserverance. So much so, that I would normally not write a negative book review, because, frankly, it's not nice to kick someone else's baby.
When purchasing books online however, reviews are a crucial part of the decision whether or not to buy--and none of the reviews so far have touched on the quality of the writing in this novel...and, unfortunately, the writing is...not good.
This does not read like a book written by a professional author--instead, it feels like passionate, but amateurish fan fiction on DeviantArt. (Not that I'm knocking DeviantArt, because there are some truly astounding artists there, but the majority of the art submitted there, in all genres, ranges from awful, to mediocre.)
The author relies heavily on the passive voice, weakening the story's pacing. There is FAR too much "telling" rather than "showing" what is happening. Modifiers abound, usually in pairs, and as with many budding writers, the author's love of words results in WAY too many "big" words being used, where simpler ones would be much more effective.
To make matters worse, the text is littered with malaproprisms and/or words that are used incorrectly or oddly--both in terms of meaning and with regards to grammar. And similes??? OUCH!!! Go ahead and *try* to get through more than 5 pages without knocking against a heavy-handed simile!
Yes, I am guilty of making claims about the author's writing without backing them up with concrete, specific examples from the book.Read more ›
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