The Beacon by @ABHPShepherd – Who Needs Psy? A Review Cabin Goddess style
Interview with an Author
What? Ya, I know, this is a REVIEW, well it is a review. You see, I read the novella. I wrote a review yesterday, in fact I wrote it four times before this blog decided to go TITS UP on me several times due to gremlins. After having Kai, Herbert and a few chickens plus one goat put its say in (yes more goats, but this time all he did was glare at it a lot) I got my site back! Yeah me!! I love being hosted on a server by a coding nerd who is a WordPress genius who runs a hosting service JUST for writers!
Anywho, the Review (haha, I made a funny)
*SHM* Lets get back to the matter at hand, my
interview review. You see, I read this novella, twice. The first time it smacked in me in the face and left me on the side of the road gasping for air. Of course, it was one of many things which has broadsided me this last week. Now, this was not a bad thing, it was just because it was POWERFUL (pay attention to this apt description because this story is powerful, completely and utterly powerful).
11/30, 8:32pm Kriss Morton And I read the story again from a different perspective. Hmmmm..
11/30, 8:40pm A.B. Shepherd And how do you feel from your new perspective?
11/30, 8:41pm Kriss Morton It’s still. Wow. I mean I’m with Donna H. I feel like I want to think on it more. I love that you have the discussion questions at the end of the novella
That’s the main thing
So you get a review!
Because my blog is fixed, all hail Kai!
11/30, 8:42pm A.B. Shepherd Powerful is good
11/30, 8:42pm Kriss Morton It builds. It’s like. disorienting at first. You “tell” and don’t “show” and as it grows into showing, as a reader I slowly got disoriented with her. I don’t remember that from when I was reading it earlier this week. Around the middle it changed from telling…into showing… ohhh you are sneaky!
11/30, 8:43pm A.B. Shepherd Makes you wonder, though huh?
11/30, 8:44pm Kriss Morton Oh indeed, made me wonder about the couple that loved on the island the fisherman said were so sweet. You never know honestly. No one thought my ex was abusive. They thought he was such a saint or still is a saint!
11/30, 8:45pm A.B. Shepherd So what is your take on what really happened on the island?
11/30, 8:47pm Kriss Morton That’s so weird. I don’t know. She has an injured foot. Could she be reliving something in the past? Could she have escaped something, ended up in a storm on her boat, crashed onto the island and ended up flipping out flinging blood from her foot everywhere??
- There are no bodies?
- Could she be a friend of Ruth’s and she didn’t do anything and it all can crashing back. The trauma was too much
- Is it all metaphoric? You just are not sure at the end. It is a mystery that really does not need solving.
11/30, 8:49pm A.B. Shepherd There are so many possibilities and there is no right answer. It is up to each reader to decide what is real.
11/30, 8:49pm Kriss Morton Yep, you painted one of THOSE paintings. )
For a while I thought at BASE, the possibilities are ghosts. The violence was so much they haunt the stones of the walls. The blood is hers but she literally lived through the memory of the violence based on all suggested above.
11/30, 8:50pm A.B. Shepherd The truth is we all live in our own reality.
11/30, 8:50pm Kriss Morton Yep. Think how fun mine is. Hah!. I have my own freak show & circus tent (and no I am not the bearded lady! Think squirrels, bacon and trained moose!)
Seriously though, Beacon is one big long allegory and that’s pretty epic on a whole different level.
Well my review is going to be different. I think basically I just am cleaning up my discussion here. (How is that for prophetic!)
11/30, 8:53pm A.B. Shepherd Here’s another thought for you. No bodies were found but did they search the entire island? What about watery graves?
11/30, 8:53pm Kriss Morton I don’t think it matters, truthfully. Remember that post I did on the difference between a mystery and The Mystery? I will state that you may want to add the disclaimer about triggers due to the nature of domestic abuse.
11/30, 8:54pm A.B. Shepherd Yes and I agree. Which is why it wasn’t included (The answer to where the bodies were).
11/30, 8:55pm Kriss Morton Not everything is needed it’s just right. If I had one more bite of information, I’d be too full! HAH!
And there is my closing line. Cabin Goddess style!
The Beacon as a story which can only be describe in my opinion as one solid allegory and one written which reminds me of those written in the style a medievalist like me is thrilled to read because not many authors can have a full immersion with their manuscript from the open to close. Could it be also metaphoric? Sure! Is there a message in it, oh hell yes and one we all should listen too. Is it a ghost story? Perhaps *wicked grin*!
Is it one of those gorgeous paintings which is there for you to gaze at day in and out just trying to decipher the true intent and meaning the artist meant for you to find? When in fact what they meant was for you to find YOUR meaning, your feelings and your own belief of what the intentions are. Everything in this story enhances it.
Her injury, where it is, how it festers, the way it bleeds. The vegetables she finds growing in the garden, the actions she takes again and again or does not take, it is all part of this beautifully dark painting Shepherd has invited us to partake in. It is that mystery that is never truly meant to be explained, you would be disappointed, and (smiling) too full. There is a method to these words, not just scenes thrown together or blood splashed over the walls. No explanation or name is needed for us to have satisfaction with this story. We are left to our own devices to sit here and as Donna Huber (Girl Who Reads) and I have done, think about what happened and personalize it, internalize it and come to our own conclusions. This was out of this world (and I think the author will like that comparison since she is a xeno-lover)
A few things — as mentioned above in the conversation, a disclaimer may need to be added. This does have a lot of violence in it, it is NOT gratuitous. It is part of the painting. As a survivor of domestic violence and a brutal rape, upon first reading this (and I was warned) it knocked me for a loop. Today I re-read it feeling a bit better health wise. I was not feeling well when I read it the first time and was stressed out, that probably was not my best choice in timing. I only mention this because those who have suffered from domestic violence could possibly not react well to the story. Is this story about domestic violence? Yes and no. Without ruining the story, it really cannot be answered, it is a story that is so wrapped up in allegory and is something written to be made your own, when I read it again, I made it my own from a different perspective and I really fell in love with this writer.
Another thing, the story starts off in a very TELL style of writing, this needs to be noted ONLY because I read it twice, and realized that this was VERY intentional, as the story drives forward, this is part of the “painting” or the method for this novella. If the author were to show you, it would not have worked even close to being as POWERFUL as the book was, remember when I mentioned how powerful this book is? This was one of the reasons I wanted you to pay that in mind. This is one way that TELLING works. This is one of those books, like The Yellow Wall Paper, which is should be read more than once to find another surprise in the canvas, even as dark as it is. Great Job!
For a story of this depth in a mere 65 pages I am giving this:
9.75 out of 10
by A.B. Shepherd
on December 1st 2013
Amazon • Barnes & Noble • Goodreads
Shipwrecked on an isolated island...
How far would you go to help a new friend? Would you kill someone?
How do you know what is and isn't real?
When The Beacon beckons safe harbour isn't guaranteed.
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
“Never stop dreaming or reading.” – A.B. Shepherd
A.B. Shepherd grew up in Lansing, Michigan, but moved to Australia in 2009. She now lives in the Limestone Coast region of South Australia, with her husband and their imaginary friends. She can usually be found seaside at Port MacDonnell, or lost in a fantasy world.
Lifeboat is her debut novel.
Her second book, is a novella titled The Beacon.
A.B. loves to hear from readers. Feel free to email her at TheRealABShepherd@hotmail.com with your thoughts regarding her books, or anything else that takes your fancy.
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