12.28.2006

HH Com 521

Do you know a place so wonderful that you could spend the rest of your life there? Is there someone you love so much that you want to be with that person forever?

When ten-year-old Marietta moves in with her Italian grandmother, she feels as grounded as the 1,100-year-old house she now calls home. But her single mother Stella has other plans. Young and self-absorbed, she forces the frightened child to leave everyone she loves and fly to America, alone, to be adopted by unknown relatives. Marietta feels betrayed by the one person she thought she could trust.

Her guardian is an uneducated aunt who resents the book-smart girl. When Stella comes to America, she wants her daughter back. Marietta is torn between returning to her roots and remaining loyal to her new parents. But the decision is not hers to make. Banned from contact with Stella, the child grows up clinging to school and Uncle Paul. After she becomes a mother herself, questions haunt her. How can a mother abandon her child? She vows to confront her mother…if she can find her… and if she has the courage.

(stop here)
A Time To Say Goodbye is a work of literary fiction set in Italy, New York and California. The novel echoes the geographical backdrop of The Godfather, the family conflict of East of Eden and the emotional drama of The Kite Runner. Yet the story retains its own signature of innocence lost and redemption found.


She's unhappy with her mother? That's the novel? You're going to need less, and more. Less about what happens and more plot.

6 comments:

xiqay said...

I think you can have a novel about interior lives where the main conflict is dealing with a primary relationship that was bad.

But you do need stakes (a basic plot element) to interest the reader.

Good luck.

Twill said...

1100 year old houses in New York or California?

Anonymous said...

Who is "Uncle Paul"? You can't have a character come out of nowhere in a hook. We're not in your head or your world, and it just gets us lost.

Rose Marie Dunphy said...

Thanks for the helpful comments.

The novel is set in Italy and begins there so the 1100 year-old house is in Italy. I must make that clearer.

I'll look at the stakes and increase them. Definitely make them clearer in the query letter.

Uncle Paul is Marietta's Aunt's husband. Should I have used only their titles instead of their names?

Again, thanks for the feedback.

The author

Anonymous said...

I think many of us can relate to this protagonist. We're not the only ones who grew up without a parent and have a painful emptiness or shame. Just saw the play "Mamma Mia" on Broadway and it deals with a similar question: where is my absent father, why is he not in my life, and can I find him?

Anonymous said...

I looked at the author's website and she posted an exerpt her book. A chapter was published as a short story. I liked the writing.