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Mama Cried – Talia Haven

03 Feb

Tali HavenJenny was enjoying herself on the swings when Azula, one of the guardians of the playground came to take her away.
Together they journey to a cinder building where Jenny must make a powerful decision.

I have a bit of a conundrum with this review, the story runs for just 12 pages and for the first third relies on mystery, how then, can I review a book without giving anything away to anybody wishing to read it?

The story starts strongly putting you into the immediacy of the moment and really it could go anywhere, there are hints that all is not quite as it seems but due to the length of the story,  you have no need to worry about being in the dark for long.

At first I thought it was going to be a children’s book but it deals with some very strong and poignant themes.  The story relies on touching the feelings of the reader, the emotive impact is, perhaps one we could all imagine finding ourselves dealing with.

A lot of detail is left to the imagination throughout, unsurprisingly.  There is plenty to speculate on and that is, of course the most interesting part of any book, to discuss and to open up new avenues of thought.

For its size this book won’t take long to read, even if you take your time, it does manage to pack in a fair amount of detail and leave enough hinted at for the reader not to be left puzzled by what has transpired.

For the $0.99 price point, this is worth taking a look at,  perhaps more specific details would have made for a more substantial and affecting encounter but overall it is a story that has enough strong themes to make you ponder for a little while.

Once again apologies for not being around your blogs for a while (there will be a post on it at some point soon I expect), I will be round yours soon.

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26 Comments

Posted by on 03/02/2015 in Fiction

 

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26 responses to “Mama Cried – Talia Haven

  1. shadowoperator

    03/02/2015 at 21:22

    Hi, Ste J! As Henry James said of his own work, particularly I believe “The Turn of the Screw,” it’s always better to leave it to the reader’s imagination, because that works better than saying directly what has happened, in terms of suspense and mystery, ghosts and villains, etc. So I’m not surprised to hear you say that the book is worthwhile even though the readers’ imaginations must do a lot of the work. I think this was a good place to start on getting back into blogging. As I told you before, I too have been away for a while, and am busy making gifts for friends right now and so have not taken the time yet to post again, but I expect to get to it soon. See you then!

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    • Ste J

      03/02/2015 at 21:28

      It is always hard to get into that mindset for writing, which is my problem at the moment, the reading is coming along fine with my usual eclectic tastes. It was a good book, not only for the reasons you mentioned but also to test my reviewing skills when I have little to work with. I need to read The Turn of the Screw, although I have recently read a classic that you may be very interested in and may probably have read. I best get writing and I look forward to your comeback post as well.

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  2. writersideup

    04/02/2015 at 04:00

    So, Ste J, this is an illustrated short story? Or are the 12 pages mostly text?

    And I, too, am going to be working out a “blog rounds” schedule for myself ’cause what I’m doing now just isn’t working for me. I spend an inordinate amount of time on blogs, and almost never my own, and certainly not writing fiction. I WILL get it under control 🙂

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    • Ste J

      06/02/2015 at 09:07

      It’s not illustrated, just the front cover is and all the rest is text. It is tough to get the balance, I used to be like that as well, spending more time visiting. I tend to put all the blogs I follow into folders and spend a good four hours on one day going to everybody in one fell swoop and then I can spend another day writing and posting and the next answering comments. Depending on time I may visit more often than every three days, sometimes I go around every two, this work schedule is a bit of a problem at the moment though, as I don’t have set times to do things and build up a routine.

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      • writersideup

        06/02/2015 at 23:49

        Yep, no routine here yet. I’m always too busy to get around to developing one, though having one would help a LOT. I don’t think I could get to everyone in those 4 hours since I spend so many every day and am not even going to many 😦 I want to make a chart of which blogs to visit how often (daily, weekly, monthly) and try to spread things out in a way that will work and free up more of my time. I love the info, the conversation and all that, but not the time it takes 😦 In fact, today, since I had to get dressed to go to the chiropractor anyway, I figured I’d do today’s HP reading at B&N.

        Turned out it was one of my typical days at Barnes in which I spent at least 3 hours in conversations with different people, two of whom I knew and the other two just met. It was all enjoyable, but I left there at 5 instead of 2 and only got half my reading quota done. That’s how every day goes with the blog following though it’s many more hours online since reading is involved, then commenting. SOMEhow I will make it work! lol

        I’m glad that, even though you don’t have a set routine, you do have a system that seems to work for you, Ste J 🙂

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        • Ste J

          07/02/2015 at 17:27

          It can be tough sometimes but the great thing is that everybody is in the same boat, so if you don’t get around to people’s blogs for a while we know why. You’ll get it sorted soon and then I expect a comment with a shedload more smileys!

          The problems of reading in a public place, lol. I know that feeling, the company is nice for a bit but you have a book, people should just know!

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          • writersideup

            08/02/2015 at 02:31

            I used to virtually “live” at that Barnes (literally almost every day and often 8-10 hours; I closed the place at 11pm) so I know a LOT of people and I can also easily get into conversation. Depending on who was there, I would sometimes start talking (it’s my way, in case you haven’t noticed). More often it was others coming to me. The guy who interrupted my reading yesterday is that type anyway : / and many people were that way. Sometimes I would even SAY I was busy working and they would still talk. There was one woman who basically used me in several ways, taking advantage ’til I knew better, and the final straw was when I was busy writing (yes, back when I actually DID write some fiction), she came over and asked me if I was busy (which couldn’t have been more obvious). I told her I was in the middle of writing something and she proceeded to ignore me, pulled up a chair and started talking. I tried to then ignore her, kept writing (on paper with a pen) and she didn’t stop talking, so I literally plopped down the pen, crossed my arms and basically glared. After 20 minutes of this she looked at her watch and said, “Good, OK. I killed enough time. Now I can go pick up my daughter.” No, I kid you not! I’m not sure I even looked at her after that, let alone said hello!

            After having wasted a large part of a couple years doing more socializing and barely getting work done, a writer’s conference I co-ran pulled me away for 9+ months, the result of which finally broke my addiction to Barnes. BUT—I still like to browse and occasionally sit in the cafe, but as usual, someone will come over and interrupt so it’s a rare thing when I’m there anymore. I must find a way to accomplish a similar thing with online socializing! lol

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            • Ste J

              13/02/2015 at 20:32

              Wow, that woman sounds proper horrible, sadly there are is always somebody like that where ever you go. The woman is in a book shop, why talk, if people are busy pick up a book, lol! It is less like that over here, partly because cafes in book shops are still a relatively new thing and partly because we tend to like our own personal space, although in a pub, people will talk to you. I haven’t managed to get a good online balance this year yet but I live in hope!

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              • writersideup

                14/02/2015 at 00:00

                Ah, well, this woman worked at the store. She was a bookseller. I used to virtually “live” there, so I knew the whole cafe staff, most of the booksellers and management and most of the “regulars.” She was a person who “used” people. This was one of several things, this being the final straw.

                And I was actually able to get the blogs I follow organized. I’m just not following the routine I set up. I created folders in google. I have 17 blogs I want to check every day, then the weekly ones are spread out over 6 days (an additional 14-15), and the monthly ones broken down between the 4 Sundays (also 14-15 more) so it averages 31-32 blogs per day to follow. Still a lot, so I’m thinking if this doesn’t scale down the time I spend, I’ll have to make more trimming decisions. It CAN work, Ste J! 🙂

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                • Ste J

                  14/02/2015 at 14:29

                  It pleases me that you have a plan for the following, having not posted much recently, at least I have been freeing up your time a little, lol. 31-32 blogs a day is still epic but I know you can do it!

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                  • writersideup

                    15/02/2015 at 00:40

                    You’re more confident than I am! lol It’s been about 5 days since I got it in place and my life’s been so interfered with again, without the email reminders, I’m not keeping up! Sheesh *sigh*…I will keep hoping! Thanks, Ste J 🙂

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  3. Lyn

    04/02/2015 at 07:27

    I’m intrigued now. For such a small book, you’ve done a great job with the review. I’m just getting back into the swing of WordPress, myself. Nothing like six week’s off to dampen your enthusiasm. Glad to see you’re still here SteJ 🙂

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    • Ste J

      06/02/2015 at 09:04

      I’m not going anywhere my friend, I just need to find my writing groove this year. It is a challenge to review such a book as to not give anything away but I like a challenge, anything that will get me thinking about different approaches to writing. Welcome back, you have been missed.

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  4. Theanne aka magnoliamoonpie

    04/02/2015 at 14:17

    I don’t mind stories that leave a lot to my imagination…so this one sounds quite interesting…I really do want to know about that “powerful decision” Jenny must make 🙂 I quite like the cover illustration too!!!

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    • Ste J

      06/02/2015 at 09:14

      Being a fan of the novel, I always look at what could have been done in more depth but now I am tackling more short stories, I have an appreciation of the less is more view. Having things left unsaid can be as powerful as reading the greatest wordsmiths pour forth on a subject.

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  5. Chelsea Brown

    04/02/2015 at 20:20

    For only twelve pages I think that you did a fantastic job at not giving everything away, and you’ve certainly captured my interest. This story sounds like an interesting read. Though it does at first put off a vibe that it could be a children’s story, it sounds like a story that goes from zero to sixty as soon as you reach the second page.

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    • Ste J

      06/02/2015 at 09:11

      Thank you, I do like a book that makes me sit and think about how to tackle a review before I throw myself in with my usual reckless abandon. It does fly by and once it clicks what is going on it does tug on the ol’ heart strings.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  6. Sheila

    05/02/2015 at 02:12

    While reading short stories, I’ve been amazed at how much can come through in so few words. The stories seem more poignant that way. It’s a tough balancing act with writing though – figuring out what to explain and what not to explain so that the magic will happen.

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    • Ste J

      06/02/2015 at 09:21

      It is indeed a fine line, I am appreciating the art of it a lot more these days. In fact now I look at my bookshelves, less is more in many cases I just never really realised it!

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  7. readingwithrhythm

    05/02/2015 at 02:58

    Well, it certainly Looks like a children’s book. Sounds like a rather odd book. Hmmmm.

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    • Ste J

      06/02/2015 at 09:09

      Had I done ‘the big reveal’ then I could have discussed openly the themes but as that is half the experience I couldn’t really attempt that without ruining it.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  8. LuAnn

    08/02/2015 at 15:20

    I don’t know how one writes a book review on a mystery without giving the plot line away but you managed to do just that…excellent!

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    • Ste J

      09/02/2015 at 13:21

      I do my best, I like a challenge and am loathe to give anything away, although usually the butler does it.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  9. RoSy

    19/02/2015 at 02:33

    Only 12 pages?
    Seems like something I could find time for (maybe).
    Oh – who am I kidding?

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