Original Books

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Beyond the Night by Marlo Schalesky

While driving in the rain one evening, Paul and Maddie veer off the road in order to not hit a deer that was standing in it, thus landing Maddie in the hospital with serious injuries. During the hospital stay, Paul thinks back to how he met his wife and how they fell in love. About how they felt when Maddie was suddenly going blind and how they were both afraid to profess their love to each other. Paul comforts himself with these memories and with prayer to the only One Who can heal his wife, but it ultimately comes down to Paul letting go and letting God do His own work.

Simple plot, original end. While the first half of the book seems typical except for good character development, the last few chapters make the whole book worth reading. It utilizes good characters instead of wasting them with a useless, typical end. And the best part about it is that Marlo pleased the public with this original end. She got away with it. It takes a good author to pull that off.

As I said, Marlo does a very good job of subtly developing her characters instead of forcing their personalities into your face. The character inaction and the purposes of each character are true to their personalities, showing signs of a good author. Granted, there are a few unnecessary, typical characters, but this does not detract from the rating because one hardly notices them.

Throughout the plot, it looked like Marlo was going to ruin this good book with a typical, sensational end. But instead, she surprised me by inserting the realistic end into this situation. She is not afraid to do such a thing, which means she has deep-seeded originality. The original end is topped off with another surprise that helps the reader understand one of the character's purposes more clearly.

The only advice I have for Marlo is to eliminate unnecessary characters or give them personalities. Other than that, keep up the originality! The market needs it.

5 stars

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