HH Com 226 (222)

Lilia Darrell has a father lost at sea, a mother fighting cancer, and a brother who could be burning down the neighborhood. Lilia is desperate to heal her family so that she can seek out deeper waters and kindred spirits. She devises a plan and meets a man.

Her goal is to decorate the enormous shipping cranes that line Seattle’s harbor. Bringing these creatures to life in a blaze of color could lure her father home, reawaken her mother’s artistic soul, and distract her brother from the fury that consumes him. The man she teams with is Udo Walgesang, a lanky East German with Baptist-preacher-meets-punk-rock hair, who arrives in Seattle the day after the Berlin Wall falls. As Lilia pushes forward on her crane plan, she
stumbles into love, risks her life, and discovers the power of forgiveness. In the end, Lilia discovers the true anchor that’s been keeping her tethered too close to shore.

Decorate them with what? Tinsel? Lights?

Your story starts when the two meet, not when all the bad stuff happens. That's back story. Does Udo (dear dog what a name) have any purpose other than boy toy? Does the fact that he's from East Germany have any significance?

There's got to be more to the story than crane decoration. What will get in her way when she tries to do it? I sense the antagonist is Nogo Purmissions the Port of Seattle's risk management officer.

Focus. Start over.


Inkwolf said...

I think Walgesang is an unconvincing eye-roller of a name, but you only have to worry about picky, snarky people who happen to understand German for that. :p (Whalesong)

Not the sort of book I read, but doesn't sound too bad.

HawkOwl said...

I get the feeling you weren't of news-reading age when the Wall fell. Or even when the Euro came in. If so, your plots will get cooler as you get older. If you're already older... Good for you for being young at heart.

(And if you do the crane project for real, I'll come look at it. I like cranes.)

tomdg said...

This is surreal! The crane thing might work for me if Lilia is, say, seven, but that rules out the whole falling in love angle. Or is this one of those bizarre "magic realism" books where nothing means what it says and nothing makes sense?

I am totally puzzled by this one. If you're as young as Hawkowl suggests, then you have a phenomenal grasp of grammar and language. If not, then you have a very different take on reality to me.

Either way, it certainly stands out from the "pile" - but what on earth?!?!

Anonymous said...

I need help understanding how decorating the cranes could bring her lost-at-sea father home, or why her mother would spare the energy to care about it while battling cancer. Do the cranes have some special significance to the mother or the pyromaniac brother? Otherwise I'm at a loss as to why, faced with these particular family problems, the heroine would exclaim, "I know! We can all decorate the shipping cranes!"

Anonymous said...

Cranes are strung with lights in December here in Dublin - one of the nicest things about Christmas. I believe this goes on throughout the UK as well.

Anonymous said...

:Editor stares:

Yeah, I bet Uncle Butch in the dockworker's union would be over the moon if all the cranes had tinsel on 'em. That would go SO well with their beer at the ol' Roughhouse Saloon. Perhaps Butchie might have a closeted streak of interior designer in him and this is what brings it out.

Couldn't this chick go to some family services group for help like sane people do?

Anonymous said...

I embarrassed to admit that I read the whole hook and almost to the end of the comments before I realized that it was "crane" cranes, not "bird" cranes that were being decorated. Although, in my defense, the use of the word "creatures" is probably what threw me. Or because I'm going on very little sleep last night I'm just not reading with comprehension.

Fuchsia Groan said...

Is Udo an artist, like that Christo guy? Are they going to get permission to drape the cranes with thousands of yards of orange fabric?

Definitely sounds magical realist.