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True Character

When you give someone your word, how much is it worth?

If you say you’ll go to an event, or meet a deadline, how likely are you to do it?

The answers to these questions speak to your true character. They have nothing to do with whether you’re male or female, rich or poor, fit or unfit; those things are your external self, otherwise known as your characterization.

The same is true for a character in a novel. Externally observable traits are her characterization whereas the choices she makes under pressure reveal her true character. One may not have anything to do with the other.

Which one is more likely to inspire empathy in the reader?

Valerie Francis

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie

Well, you’re not going to believe this. Reece Witherspoon and I picked the same book for our February book clubs. Sort of.  Late last year, I came across THE MYSTERY OF MRS. CHRISTIE by Marie Benedict and was fascinated by the premise. Benedict writes historical fiction, much like Philippa Gregory,

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Valerie Francis

A Girl Named Howard

This month, rather than recommend one book to read, I’m recommending the entire body of work of one author because Anne Rice, who passed away December 11, 2021, single-handedly revolutionized the role of vampires in literature.  Yes, vampires.  And the impact she’s had is more significant than you might realize.

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Valerie Francis

The Christmas Bookshop

If you’ve had it up to your eyes with holiday preparations and are looking for a light-hearted story to escape into, The Christmas Bookshop, by Jenny Colgan, might be just the ticket. The title is a bit misleading, in my opinion. Yes, there’s a bookstore. Yes, the plot unfolds in

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