THE WRITING CIRCLE
By Corinne Demas
Published by Hyperion (HarperCollins)
Genre: Mainstream fiction
Nancy is invited to join a writing group made up of established authors. She doesn’t think her novel-in-progress is good enough for this group, but she accepts. How could she refuse such exulted company?
Over a year, the group becomes more than just a bunch of writers. Some become friends, and everyone gets caught up in each other’s personal lives. Sharing one’s writing is such a personal thing that it’s hard to stay aloof.
When one of the group comes out with a new book, they all head to New York for the debut. A writer’s greatest fear is realized, and all hell breaks loose.
This book was sent to me by the publisher months ago. It wasn’t my usual fiction fare, so it sat on the shelf until last week. I finally took it down because I was in a mellow mood. I wasn’t mellow when I finished.
The characters are real people, like people we all know. They love, lose, and live on. I wanted Nancy to find a publisher, for Virginia’s ex-husband to stop hurting their children’s feelings, for Chris to attain a closer relationship with his sons, and for Paul to find happiness and friends. Demas made me CARE about her characters.
There was an undercurrent of urgency through the whole book. It didn’t grab me, but I found myself thinking about it at odd times, wondering what was up next for my new friends. Tonight, I sat down to finish it.
The last quarter of the book held me enthralled. All the hidden secrets started coming to light and havoc reigned. The closer I came to the end, the more breathless I felt. Something terrible was going to happen, I just knew it. And then it did.
Even after disaster struck, Demas held back one vital fact. I was reading as fast as I could, with a small voice in my head crying “No, she couldn’t!” One the very last page, she revealed the terrible truth. I knew it, but didn’t want to face it.
I closed this book near tears. I could feel the anguish of the other characters, although Demas didn’t write it down. Ripples of this event would change many lives, for many years. The characters were so real to me that I could see and hear them when they found out.
I usually read for pure entertainment. This book made me feel. It will stay with me for a long time. You should read it.