|though i’ve been reading the stuff on the forum for a few months already, the only reason I registered was to paste a review I’ve just found on saint-clair. it’s on her novel Jagged dreams and it’s in the april issue of Swerve magazine, which is a canadian publication.
seeing as so many of you seem to be into her writing, i thought you might not come across it if i didn’t post it here. personally I haven’t read any of saint-clair’s stuff but i might hop on to amazon and see what’s there.
nice talking to you.
Straight-forward plot unleashes
Author’s creativityBy Marta Alphonso
C.C. Saint-Clair • Jagged Dreams • Bookmakers Ink, 2003
Surreal and poignant, Jagged Dreams delves inside the mind of Tamara, a 28-year-old lesbian suffering from a concussion after being mysteriously attacked outside her lover’s workplace one evening. This charming novel has the potential to be a corny, run-of-the-mill piece of work. All the elements are there: a mystery the main characters must solve, relationship woes, and hauntings from the past.
However,thanks to C.C. Saint-Clair’s thorough writing style, the reader holds on until the very end, hoping the finish is worth the read.
Little can be said to describe the storyline of the novel, as it only takes place over the course of about three days. Tamara is attacked, Tamara is in the hospital for a while, and then
Tamara comes home. Fairly straightforward. However, the events that occur in Tamara’s head during her hospital stay are what truly give flavour to the novel.
Past events in her life appear to be eerily connected to one another, and a general feeling of immense loss and sadness prevails.
Tamara seems to blame herself for the death of her young cousin Jamie, as he continues to reappear in her dreams, terrorizing her sleeping mind.
A sweetly delightful affair with the young daughter of a French vintner is even more ubiquitous during her fitful sleeps. Clearly the young woman, Marielle, was dearly loved by Tamara, but she was betrothed to a Frenchman that was to inherit her father’s vineyard.
Marielle’s endearing nature has clung to Tamara since they were parted, and Tamara has always regarded her as the one that got away.
Another important aspect of the novel is the interaction that takes place between the characters. Tamara is in a long-term relationship with Emilie, who are both close friends with Alex, Tamara’s ex-girlfriend.
The large age gap is heavily explored as a driving force behind the lack of complete intimacy in Emilie and Tamara’s relationship.
Emilie has difficulty trusting Tamara, and she finds solace in Alex’s wisdom, who is the same age as Emilie.
How the characters relate to one another reveals their insecurities, such as Emilie’s doubts that she is too old
for Tamara to truly love her, which displays the innermost thoughts and traits of their personalities.
Though the novel can be unclear and difficult to follow at times, it is this very aspect that turns it into such a believable narration of the agony and confusion of someone suffering from a concussion. However, it finishes with a few loose ends that may leave the reader disappointed.
Also, the storyline itself is quite unremarkable, and it reads like a cheesy mystery whodunit, but it is often from such simple plots that truly memorable novels are made.
The most straightforward plots give authors the most room to express their creative genius.
Although this novel may not be particularly extraordinary, it is able to provide a thought-provoking, entertaining read.