Thursday, March 21, 2013

Book Review: Rosebud Blooming

Rosebud Blooming: Hurting to Healing in His TimingRosebud Blooming: Hurting to Healing in His Timing by Nancy Maggio
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

If I was presented with this book, but it was still in manuscript form, I would say it could have potential. However, as a finished book, it falls far short of what it could have been, and I only finished it because I was provided a copy from the publisher for an honest review, therefore I *had* to read it. I feel if I say I'm going to read something, I need to, no matter how much I dislike a book.

This book is good in premise. There are 88 pages, and each chapter begins with a poem, then is followed by a short story of an event that happened in the author's life. When given the opportunity to review this book, it looked like one I would greatly enjoy Rosebud Blooming starts with the poem "Unfolding This Rosebud". While it is not of great literary quality, the sentiment is beautiful, and I settled in further, knowing I picked up a great read.

Chapter One, "Voice in the Valley" was the best edited selection in the book. The story could have used polishing, and I prefer much less dialogue in a passage. A tale often flows better without lots of "He said", "She whispered" interjected into the story. The recollection did give me goosebumps, I enjoyed this memory, and it was by far the best told story of the collection.

The next section starts with a poem "Skeletons in the Closet". This time I felt the poem was more forced. Rhymes such as "doors/metaphors" were used, and even "fear/years". I was always taught that if you end a line in a poem plural you need to have the next line with the same ending or it won't rhyme. In other words, fear rhymes with year, not years, and this was repeated frequently through the book. The poems grew increasingly forced and un-rhymed as the book progressed. Some of these couplets included "world/twirl", "clergy/worry", "others/shudders", and even "unique/freak". This book would have been infinitely stronger leaving out the poems. They would make a nice keepsake to hand down to family, but for a published book, they are not of enough literary quality to merit being included.

The number of interjections in the prose interrupted the flow. While the author may have thought "Ha!" or "Duh", leaving it out would have allowed the reader a more pleasant experience with this book. The questions in her thoughts made me have to stop and refocus as I forgot what was going in the story. An example of this is on page 63, "Huh? This was a quick-fix surgery?" and on page 72 where she thinks, "What planet does this guy live on?" (Given the situation I would have been thrilled someone came to my rescue and not given a second thought to someone calling from outside my window asking if my house was locked.) The English language is varied and has so many phrases that can be put together to create a tale, yet the author often resorted to cliches.

As a Christian reading a Christian book, I didn't feel like the abbreviation OMG! should have been used. While it would have read better spelled out instead of just "OMG!", my problem was this typically stands for "Oh My God!" and reading a Christian book, I didn't expect to see my Lord's name taken in vain.

The editor of this book certainly didn't do his/her job, either. There were two different times the author said "me and _____". Because it was in the predicate of a sentence, "me" was correct, but proper English dictates that the other person come before "me", an example is "my daughter and me". Technically you should also order people in importance. An example being "the president, my congressman, my mayor, and me". One of the times the author used "me and ____" she said "me and God". I believe God is much more important than the author, and I groaned out loud and checked how many more pages were left to this book I wanted to edit with a red pen.

I truly believe the story "Wounded, Rescued, and Saved" combined with "Betrayal" would make a wonderful full length book themselves. These were fascinating stories that would have had many details I am sure people would have found very interesting if they were just presented at length. I was hoping the bulk of the book would be about these two segments, but instead "Betrayal" was a mere five and a half pages long instead of memoir length. While of course, it could have been edited to make the writing more pleasant to read, the content was good enough to make up for the quality of writing. I really wish the author would consider writing this as a full length book, but I would recommend finding a different editor next time she publishes! While some might disagree with the fact that homosexuality needs a "complete healing" as she states at the end of this vignette, there is enough to draw from to write a whole book merely on this section. If she doesn't do so, I hope her brother does. (And I sincerely hope she received his permission to write this story about him!)

I was excited to read this book, and I fully expected to like it. I think it has potential, but I feel it's still in rough draft form. Losing the poems, polishing the stories and adding some more I believe would make this into a much better read. As it is, it was difficult for me to concentrate on the content in part because of writing style and with grammar problems a good editor should have fixed. For this reason I give it one star.

FTC disclosure: I was provided a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own, and I was in no way required to write a positive review.

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