Review Blog

Apr 01 2016

The Storyteller's Muse by Traci Harding

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Harper Collins, 2016. ISBN 9780732299415
(Age: Senior secondary) Ageing author Penelope Whitman needs to write a story which she has been incubating for a long time but is frustrated by her failing faculties. Peter, a nurse in the aged-care home where she lives is a frustrated author and she asks him to help her write the story she dictates. The thread then alternates between the story and the writing process until the author dies leaving the narrative unfinished. A third story is introduced, Peter's own creation, based on historical research thrown up by Penelope's unfinished novel. Interspersed are strange supernatural incidents identified as the 'muse' or spirit that can be dangerous as well as creative. The chapter headings list the components of the writing process and there is some insight into what it takes to develop as a successfully published author although the luck and support budding writer Peter receives is a bit beyond belief.
Traci Harding is known for her stories in the fantasy genre and this convoluted tale may be of interest to her readers to understand how she writes. There is a sex scene which may preclude the book from some school libraries but senior students with writing aspirations may like it as will Traci Harding fans. It could be read with Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl, also a story about a writer.
Sue Speck

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