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A Lovely, Indecent Departure Paperback – March 23, 2012
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"The well-crafted plot is meted out at a steady pace, continually feeding readers' need to know and simultaneously whetting the appetite for more."--Kirkus Reviews
"Riveting...perfect for any kind of literary escape."--The Wake Weekly
"A Lovely, Indecent Departure is a choice and much recommended addition to general fiction collections."--Midwest Book Review
"The quality in this book is a perfect example of Indie authors being able to hold their own in regards to larger publishing house authors and that those readers who dismiss Indie authors are truly missing out."--Naomi Blackburn, Founder Sisterhood of the Traveling Book
"Gilbert has written a masterful debut."-- Sandy Kirkland, Booksie's Blog
"...an unassuming work, one that doesn't seek to draw you in with cheap gimmicks and plot tricks. It presents itself as it is, quiet, steady, and ultimately charming."--Shannon Fox, Isle of Books
From the Author
When in 2007, with their support, I chose to pursue writing full time, I had no real idea of what I was getting myself into. I only knew I wanted to write. Such an endeavor is not without risk and in the months leading up to my leaving my day job, we adjusted our lifestyle and saved what we could to afford me this opportunity. My wife and I talked to our children about doing with less and showed them through example the importance of following one's dream. Even when chronic illness threatened to derail the plan, we helped them to understand that dreams require sacrifice, a life lesson, we hope, they espouse themselves as adults.
Please visit my website to learn more about this journey, and thanks again for thinking of A Lovely, Indecent Departure.
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Top customer reviews
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The plot seems intriguing at first. Anna, a divorced mother, decides to abduct her son, Oliver, who was given custody to his father, Evan. Anna gets to see Oliver on weekends, but Evan does everything he can to ensure she seems him for as little time as possible. On this particularly weekend, Evan demands that Anna bring Oliver back four hours earlier than she has him for, but Anna has other plans.
It's clear that we're supposed to cheer for Anna and view Evan as the bad guy. The problem is, Gilbert fails to provide any proof that Evan is a bad guy until some plot developments towards the end that are not earned. That the sheriff and a private investigator suspect Evan is to blame for his wife's actions makes the reader more sympathetic to him. These characters seem convinced that Evan is a monster, but nothing convincing suggests that he is. The mistake Gilbert makes is in not revealing anything monstrous Evan has done during his marriage to Anna. The fact that the court awards him custody suggests he is more capable of raising his son than she is.
There's also the problem of the third POV character, Monroe, who adds nothing much to the story overall. Gilbert could have profited immensely from removing Monroe from the story and instead focusing on developing Anna and Evan and their situation so the reader could actually care about the outcome of the story.
The book is written in third person and switches between three characters with every chapter: Anna, her ex-husband Evan, and Monroe, the town sheriff. Gilbert’s writing has a lot of promise; his sentences flow together easily and the overall writing style stays consistent through the book. One of the first things the reader will notice, however, is that the dialogue lacks any quotation marks. If this is a stylistic choice that the author has made, it’s not a very good one. There is a reason we use quotation marks to denote dialogue and without it the book reads like endless prose; and endless prose can get quite tiresome. The lack of quotation marks also makes it difficult at times to tell what is and isn’t dialogue while also making whatever is being said seem unimportant. Quotation marks are a type of punctuation, and punctuation tells us how significant something is --without it, the dialogue falls flat.
Another issue with the book is its wordiness. While some reader might enjoy the extra descriptions, this book has a lot of extra details that just aren’t important to the storyline. You could argue that these details add to mood of the book but mostly they just take away from the actual plot.
The story itself is interesting though, a great exploration into the tragic privates lives of this family. The characters are complex and read like real people. Although Anna technically kidnapped her son, seeing the situation through her eyes gives us the chance to recognize that she only did it out of love. We also get to be inside of Evan’s head and it becomes very clear, very quickly that he is not the kind of man you would want to leave your child with. It’s hard for the reader to fault Anna for what she did, despite breaking the law.
Overall, the book could have used some work, including the addition of quotation marks, but it’s not a bad piece of fiction. Gilbert’s writing has a lot of potential and he writes characters very well. It will be interesting to see what he writes in the future.
Most recent customer reviews
the nebulous ending, but much subsequent
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