- File Size: 2619 KB
- Print Length: 222 pages
- Publisher: Lucinda M. O'Neill (February 13, 2016)
- Publication Date: February 13, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01BRKSWT2
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #290,431 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Almost Right with the World Kindle Edition
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In writing groups, there’s often a rule (or convention) to refrain from beginning critiques with “This genre is not my cup of tea, but…” - in other words skip the cuppa, ignore the genre, and address the writing. So while Almost Right with the World would ordinarily be outside the scope of my fiction reading, I’m sufficiently acquainted with the genre to recognize a work that surpasses the attributes associated with “Romance” as a genre in just about every way. Ms. O’Neill’s deft and inventive handling of routine – almost potboiler – ingredients lifts ARW out of the “for those of you who like this sort of thing, this is the sort of thing you like” category and into “Literary Fiction” in my opinion.
Ms. O’Neill has created a cast of completely believable and engaging characters, despite the fact that they could all be described as “types.” Given that “types” exist because so many people can be thumbnailed by them, they’re nearly impossible to avoid in writing contemporary fiction. And yet, a talented writer can bring a “type” to life with unique details of speech and manner, along with all-too-human inconsistencies, ambiguities and ambivalences. Ms. O’Neill has achieved this triumphantly. Her “bloodied but not bowed” protagonist, the flawed and frustrating (yet not evil) new-friend-next-door (and the new friend’s equally flawed & frustrating ex) provide an engaging and believable level of friction and conflict. The great surprise (to me, anyway) is the role played by protagonist’s ex, and his partner.
Ms. O’Neill’s style is much to be admired. Her writing is witty, literate, and restrained where one frequently encounters scenery-chewing excess. I found it impossible not to have some level of identification with and sympathy for pretty much everyone.
I recommend Almost Right with the World enthusiastically, whether you’re a regular reader of “Romance” or simply appreciate good writing and engaging storytelling.
Passionella befriends Julie, they hang out, and even start writing a book together with their book club. Otherwise, Passionella hangs out in a coffee shop (I guess looking for work) or is off flirting with Jeff. Passionella seems to develop quite a crush on Jeff early in the novel, but Jeff goes back and forth between lukewarm and ice-cold. Fletcher and Mac come to town to visit and to put on a gay/cross-dresser production at the town theater, and naturally, stay with Passionella at Fletcher’s home, which is tense at first between her and Mac, but they soon become friends. I think I have the cast of characters and their purpose out of the way! As things develop, then stop, then develop more between Jeff and Passionella, Julie is in a downward spiral with her drinking quickly heading to her rock bottom. There’s fairly constant tension between Jeff and Passionella because of his feelings of obligation to Julie, leading to Passionella feeling lonely, out-of-place, and so on.
Let me say that I did really like this novel. O’Neill tapped a unique storyline and created an eclectic group of characters in this novel. However, I didn’t really find any of them very interesting for some reason. After finishing this book, I realized that Passionella really did nothing the entire book except hang out with Jeff, or watch for his car out the window. She pulled it together in the end, but otherwise she really didn’t do much of anything. I disliked Jeff from the beginning of the book, and it didn’t take me long to feel the same about Julie. It’s a credit to the author’s writing to make me dislike a character as much as I did Jeff because there were times I wanted to just jump into the story and smack him. Although I wasn’t a fan of Julie, I did ache for her when she expresses to Passionella how much she misses their friendship, because it was such a raw, vulnerable moment. Efgeny seemed like an interesting, cool guy but his character wasn’t developed as much as it could have been. Besides his clothing, I’m not positive what he was even supposed to look like, but he was a genuine, selfless person that this novel desperately needed. “Almost Right with the World” is something different to put on your reading list. There are varying degrees of romance, but it’s not a sappy novel. O’Neill is an author to watch with her new and different plots, as well as, her realistic writing style.
It is set "Down-state" as we New Yorkers say, which refers to that small cultural triangle in southern-most New York State including New York City and a few of the counties immediately north of the city, as well as parts of western Connecticut. Ms. O'Neill infuses the story with local sensibilities and flavors, enhancing the story without becoming lost in them. Passionella has been forced out -- ejected! -- from her comfort zone, and suddenly finds herself with both hands gripping the steering wheel of her life. Her journey is accompanied by a wonderful caste of characters whom you will love spending your evenings with.
Well-written, laced with intelligent humor but ultimately with a serious sense of journey and growth, this is a great story to enjoy.
Most recent customer reviews
Light beach reading or long, sunny days in the shade. Author draws you right into characters' daily lives!
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