Tuesday, July 27, 2010

More on Lipstick Wars

As an author, you wonder if people will "get" your book. My another of my sisters just read it, and it was amazing how she understood exactly the truths I was trying to portray. WOW! Here are her feelings about it:

I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your book. I finally paid all the bills and caught up on my correspondance and unpacked from all of our travels, and then stole a rainy day for myself while the children alternately played, read, and tortured eachother while I thoroughly enjoyed lapping up lipstick wars. I sat on the couch and told Ainsley how to make Shepherd's Pie, because I only had three more chapters before Carlos would be home for dinner. It was such a treat!

I knew from our conversations about it that there would be the theme about faces and fronts that we put up, especially woman to woman. You had also told me how there were the two different type of mother characters and how they would help eachother's children. I enjoyed all of those themes. Then I felt like it was a bonus for me to see the role that the spirit played, almost like one of the characters in the book, to help make sense of their assigned sisterhood. I liked how the spirit spoke in different ways to the different characters and sometimes through the different characters even when they were flawed and even when they sometimes misread the implications.

I thought that the title names were so clever! Sometimes they were a pun, sometimes a twist or a tease -- like a riddle that you'd figure out at the end of the chapter. If they ever turn Lipstick Wars into a movie, they should put at least some of those chapter headings up on the screen, kind of like in A Room with a View.

I felt like Marlene was still a little bit of a mystery to me, maybe I just wanted her to have a more redeeming motivation than guilt, but I really liked the development of Kimberly. If you continue the series, is Cath sort of the constant thread? The reader does definitely care about her and her family.

I'm glad that Eden was young, because it made sense that she had a hard time seeing past her own troubles. However, it would be the most frightening thing to be in her position. She would be walking around with a sick fear in her gut all the time, and her insecurities were even more developed because of her background. The chapter when she felt all alone, I thought was really effective. It's nice to realize in the end that Heavenly Father didn't only just send Roy to her -- he also sent Isa, and her visiting teachers,...

The other part I liked was when Eden realized that the message of the painting applied to herself. I think that it helps the reader to realize that the message of the paintings was not just to tell Isa's story. And I liked the moment when she sees the unfinished painting, and she realizes the power of her choice.

I'm glad that she does choose to forgive Kimberly even though she never learns of Kimberly's innocence. And then after her conversation with Kimberly...it's so true that we often never know if what we have said, even when we feel totally guided to say it, has had any effect at all. My husband feels that all the time as bishop.

Thanks for such a good read. The nerd party was hilarious. I'm encouraged to try to break down the walls of some of my visiting teaching sisters. Two of them suffer from depression, sometimes pretty debilitating, and yet they always put on their "lipstick" whenever my companion and I visit. Maybe I should try hopping in their beds. Wish me luck.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Best Review of All

You know what I love about family? They tell you how it really is- at least mine does. Often their brutal honesty is overwhelming, but even more often it is absolutely correct.

So imagine my joy when I received the following email from my sister today after they read my latest book "Lipstick Wars." I think it is the best review I've ever had.


OK, we just loved it. Your book, we loved it. I read it to Laura and Kerry all the way home and then talked about it for a couple of hours. It was the first fiction book Kerry had listened to for years, and he really got into the characters. We enjoyed the questions at the end to stimulate more thought. We were trying to sympathize with Helen, but found it very difficult. I felt for her because she was just trying to protect her biggest investment, but Dad made the observation that because she was still vindictive even after she thought she would get the park, that she was evil, not just protective.

We were frustrated sometimes with the way Eden perceived some conversations (like the one with her mother when her mother openned up to her. Eden took everything so personally rather than seeing things from others perspective) But I guess that was her problem, because she felt so alone, with no support and no childhood experience to help her feel like she could really do this. I would hope that no one, in any ward would ever go 3 years with only 2 visiting teaching visits. Wouldn't that be sad.

I loved the character of Roy, I loved the nerd party, I loved the rich eccentric and found the paintings clever. I loved the way people fixed up her house and how she saw the love of so many in each repair. And I loved thinking about the smile on your face when you wrote the scene when Helen is told that the mansion was going to be turned into a homeless shelter. I bet you really loved that.

Thanks for sharing your talents. I have passed it on to Emily, then Jana, then ....

Love you,
Hope your back is feeling better,