12.27.2006

HH Com 492

The day after Mark Roth graduates from the University of Washington he reads about the murder of his mother in the newspaper. He hasn't seen her in nineteen years.

His mother, Marianne Caxton, was a celebrated author. She was also an untreated manic-depressive who destabilized every situation in which she found herself -- and she never stayed in one place for very long.

Marianne abandoned Mark at the age of three to be raised by his father, a winemaker in Washington State. All Mark knows about her is what he's read in newspapers and magazines. However, while visiting her last known residence to settle her affairs, Mark finds thousands
of pages of writing from which he hopes to reconstruct her life and learn how it came to such a violent end. As he works to untangle the mystery of Marianne's life, he entangles himself in two simultaneous love affairs and fights through a depression of his own.

Mark tells his story in three parts, which correspond with the cycles of manic-depressive illness. Part 1 ("Depression") tells Mark's story, Part 2 ("Mania") tells Marianne's, and Part 3 ("Lithium") provides conclusions to both. Part mystery, part coming of age tale, "Lithium" is a novel about the radical ups and downs of American life.


Your first paragraph is great. It doesn't splat exactly after that, but you veer off into blathery "love affairs and depression of his own" and nothing much more about the murder.

If you sent this to me with serious writing credits or the recc of someone I respected I'd probably read it. Polish this up and focus it and you'd get a read without the auxiliary stuff.

Go Huskies.

2 comments:

xiqay said...

I was completely pulled in by this until "he entangles himself in two ..."

And then I realized I wasn't sure if the story was Mark's or Marianne's.

But after I forced myself to keep reading, I found the answer. And it sounds like a novel I might like to read.

I'm not sure reading about a depressed MC, though, would be easy, or a place to start.

So I give this is hesitant/ambivalent thumbs up.

Good luck.

writtenwyrdd said...

This is intriguing. I'd want to know more.