Early Readers Report Insomnia, Mascara Issues, Prurient Curiosity
In April, I sent out an electronic copy of Bowling Avenue to the first 50 folks who said they’d be willing to take a look at the thing. No strings attached, no obligation. Here are reports from these sturdy, brave pioneers.
Reader Number 1: I loved. LOVED. Lerved it. Today I got the kids off to school and then got back into bed. To read it. I finished it and find myself bereft because it’s all read up.
Reader Number 2: The best thing about the book is the voice. Funny. Distinctive. Confident. Quirky. And it doesn’t waver. The voice at the end is the same as the one at the beginning, even though we’ve watched the person change. Reminds me of Holden Caulfield.
Reader Number 3: I have finished your book. Could not put it down. I love, love, love it. I was up last night until after midnight reading. Just had to finish. Now I hope for a sequel. You are most talented and kept my attention all the way from page one to the end. Loved it that there was some knitting in there.
Reader Number 4: The whole thing made me dang jealous of your brain. Jiminy, you can craft characters! Stories! They are so perfectly formed. Everything and everyone is so interesting and rings true. I want to meet them. I want another book with each one as the center. Those witty phrases that make you wish you thought of them. I laughed out loud and I am not an easy lol’er. I wanted to take notes of my favorite bits but I was too into the flow of the story to pause to do it. I would cite examples but there are so many I couldn’t begin.
The strangeness, it’s so possible. I’ve had enough of those eye-popping conversations, where I was told the craziest story we all agreed was “stranger than fiction,” to say that it could happen.
Reader Number 5: I loved it. I am only sorry there was not more knitting in it. My favorite line was: “It can be a mystery–it ought to be a mystery.” The characters and situations were related. I could not wait to see what happened and was not disappointed. GOOD WORK!!!! I will highly recommended it to my friends.
Reader Number 6: Really, Ann. I read from the laptop while drying my hair. There are cracker crumbs in the keyboard where I tried to scarf a snack while I read. And I’m sure I flushed the cat’s head in the toilet while I was distracted trying to read while exiting the WC. I’m HOOKED! Delia is delightful! And my eyes are watering so from the tears of laughter that I can’t even put on any mascara! I hope this meeting is short. They’re keeping me from Bowling Avenue!
Reader Number 7: Many thanks I have started to read and love love love it so far. On page 18 I started the minute it arrived in my in box. Now I bet I get no knitting done until I finished. It truly is a happy Friday. You are making me laugh out loud.
Reader Number 8: I just wanted to let you know that I completed reading your wonderful novel on Saturday (so absorbed was I that I basically read it in only three sittings, including staying up until 5:00A on Saturday morning). Bravo and kudos! Holy moly it was great in so many ways: very appealing and well-established characters, genuine Southern flavor, the deft interplay of humor and pathos, and a solid feel and empathetic understanding for the sometimes messy–albeit transformational and redemptive–stuff of life. A beautifully rendered work on your part, and it was lovely and touching to hear and perceive your voice throughout the novel.
Reader Number 9: What a terrific book!!! It pulled me right in and I spent most of Sunday frustrated that I couldn’t get back to it, then stayed up way too late last night & finished it because I had to know what was going to happen to these folks! You created all these many distinct and distinctive characters with such tenderness, such compassion for their foibles and their strengths alike, and you made their growth so natural and credible.
Reader Number 10: I might have to sue you because your book is making me lose sleep because I keep putting it down and then lying there in the dark and turning the light back on and reading some more. And I don’t have time to be doing this but am anyway.
Reader Number 11: So what if it is 1:20 am. I finished it. It was marvelous. Not just because I felt honored that you trusted this complete stranger to read your book before it was published. Not just because there were so many references dear to me. There was more. I know those people. I could meet Delia in line at Publix and know her. You did a remarkable thing. You created lives whose stories were worth knowing. Thank you.
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