12.26.2005

Crapometer #19

Falling Leaves

Mainstream/Commercial/Boomer (boomer? wtf?)

Synopsis/Outline (no no no, two different things!)

4 paragraphs - no names, setting of tone and theme for book, thoughts from Her (wtf?)

Cathleen and Jamie are two seventeen year olds dating in 1968, learning about love in the front seat of a ‘63 Ford Galaxie. Cathleen discovers how to turn boys on and keep them coming back for more. Jamie is flustered until he discovers she gets turned on just as easily. In small town America in the '60's, there are only two choices for a future. You either get married and settle down or leave for college. Cathleen's family doesn't value education, sees no purpose in it. Jamie's, on the other hand, knows there is no future in farming. The decision to 'do it' or not creates tension and ultimately drives them apart. Toss in a cynical high school principal, a mother trying to keep her daughter in check and the changing social climate of the late '60's, and a familiar portrait of growing up in that wondrous time emerges. (100 pages)

you don’t need to list the number of pages this takes.


4 paragraphs - no names - setting of tone and theme - thoughts from Him (wtf?)

Cathleen's story. Cathleen's dream of a white house and a comfortable husband who works hard and loves her without question comes true. Complications arrive with the Vietnam War, her embittered mother's determination to keep Cathleen under her protective wings, and a sex drive husband Ed can't even begin to match. The glue that keeps her home is not her mother's sneaky machinations but her dad, whose smile she cherishes and friendship she needs. Like many young women in the seventies, Cathleen wonders if she is missing something, but eventually accepts a good and decent family life. (Cathleen is a middle class, suburban/rural mom - not unlike millions who grew up during the sixties and "settled”‚ for what they thought was the good life) (50 pages)

4 paragraphs - no names, the "infamous”‚ shower scene

There's only one "infamous" shower scene in the world. This isn't it.

Jamie's story - Jamie goes off to college, learns of life and love, gets involved in the anti-war demonstrations of ‘69 and ‘70. Finds a girl who teaches him how to make love, then loses her to her past. Finds Mona, a hard driven pre-law student who admires his personality and intelligence. And he discovers Pynchon, the iconoclastic writer of the seventies. But Jamie moves through life with no real focus, sex is the only constant passion he retains, which is not enough for Mona who finally leaves when Jamie heads off in an inane search for the elusive Thomas Pynchon. Through a stroke of dumb luck, Jamie receives a Ph.D. and a teaching position at a small college where he continues his search for the idealized Cathleen he remembers. And discovers teaching is something he enjoys and excels at.(50 pages)

4 paragraphs - no names, the coming storm - thoughts from Him & Her

Back home to settle his parent's estate and a chance meeting with Cathleen soon leads to a torrid love affair. And both discover what they have been searching for or hoping to find for thirty years. Only now, Cathleen has the baggage of a comfortable life and husband. And Jamie has a tenured position in a small academic community where Cathleen would be sorely out of place. Into the mix comes husband Ed, nearing retirement and looking forward to the rest of his life with his wife of 30 years. When Cathleen's misfit brother and mother discover the affair, the stage is set. Does Cathleen stay with her comfortable Ed or go for the passion she has been missing her whole life? Does Jamie force the matter and try to remove Cathleen from the life she has always known, to a world where she likely will not be welcomed or happy? A climactic scene in a local restaurant with a drunken Vietnam vet, mother and brother, helps them make the choice. Jamie goes away again. Cathleen's mother finally goes beyond what even she will stand for and the break between the two becomes a chasm. Cathleen and Ed marry their children off and prepare for his retirement. And suddenly, Cathleen is alone and she can't find Jamie to tell him. He does come back - everyone likes happy endings.(100 pages)


I’m not sure what format you’re working in here but a synopsis isn’t an index. You don’t need to list everything you do. Just the plot, the characters and the turning points in the conflict.

What you’re missing here is anything remotely new to say or even a fresh approach to a tried and true subject. I’ve read this book a hundred times before and I’ve seen it on Lifetime -Grandmother Snark and Grandmother Yapp are suckers for weepies.

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