Review of A Forged Affair by MaryAnn Clark

forged-affair

 

I started reading this book aware that it is part of a series, but it is easy to read as a standalone book. To begin with I found the pace of the storyline quite slow, the author’s illuminative writing allowed me to picture the area of France that the book is set in, but at first I felt swamped by this.

Sticking with the story I found that after I had the first chapter under my belt the storyline opened up a lot more, the characters started to flow a lot more freely and I began to get a feel for them.

At first I wasn’t sure if I liked the protagonist, she came across as cocky. I soon learnt that this showing off that Niki was doing was a mask to hide her pain, and that warmed me to her.

Niki’s relationship with Didier was uncomplicated at first, her desire to help him out was really endearing. Her need to stand up to the bullies on his behalf really won me over. Her relationship with Luc was really complicated and this had me very frustrated right the way through the book. That said, the complications were as a result of her pain and therefore quite understandable.

During the first chapter, when I felt the story was slow, I was really certain I was not going to enjoy this book. After about the third or fourth chapter I found that the emotions of all concerned had got me gripped, I have to admit that this did surprise me.

The author has carefully woven a rather surprising story of love, friendships, heartache and an utterly independent woman who you will find endearing but frustratingly stubborn at the same time.

Her descriptive account of the area really helps to set the scene for this story. The characters are both likeable and believable, although some of the background characters lacked dimension at times. That said, this did not take anything away from the storyline, nor did it interfere with the flow of the story.

I found this book enjoyable and thought provoking. Niki’s character caused me to ponder what it would be like for a young female to be travelling around France and then to dive headfirst into a friendship with a man she has just met.

I enjoyed the author’s writing style, her knowledge about the area of France that the book is set in and the activities that the characters are involved in comes across very well. I would definitely recommend this book to family and friends.

Monday Musing.

While the world still basks in the romantic glow of love that the Royal Wedding evoked a couple of days ago, I’m reminded of my own wedding and how I often wish things had been different. My eldest daughter is also getting married soon and she has planned everything with her fiance, a far cry from what her own parents did.

When I got married I didn’t have the emotional strength to partake in the planning. I was still very much recovering from the brutal attack on me and I just had no energy to put into wedding planning. I let my own mother plan just about everything. I knew I wanted my dress made, not bought. I actually wanted to get a black dress and just be done with it, but as we had opted for a church wedding I really don’t think it would have been appropriate.

I often wonder what I would have chosen had I not been so broken. Looking back I think I would still have opted for the church, this was twenty-eight years ago – twenty-nine when it was being planned – the registry office was in a dilapidated state and I still think I wouldn’t have wanted to have my wedding there.

If I was planning a wedding now I would be looking at somewhere out in nature. In fact, I would actually get handfasted – I’d probably have a legal ceremony first, but the actual wedding would be a handfasting – a pagan style commitment ceremony. IMG_4298.JPG

 

Having said all of that, I can still remember my wedding day and it was a wonderful day; filled with love, laughter, and happiness.

Trends.

My blog has always been about my interests,  most people’s blogs are this way and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.  It seems that to have a “normal” blog nowadays is a bit of faux pas and we should all be churning out marketable content, otherwise our blogs just aren’t worthy of reading.

Says who?

Seriously, I cannot understand why bloggers have to be snubbed or ridiculed just because they talk about their personal stories.  Talking about my personal stories is the main reason I got into blogging around ten years ago.  I follow blogs whose content feels relatable to me, or who have something interesting to say on a personal level, not just because they are writing about the latest trends.

I have just gone through the top 100 trends on Google trends and I kid you not, I sat and yawned most of the way through it.  There are plenty of football (soccer) teams cropping up on there, I have a healthy interest in that sport, but not enough to dedicate blog posts to it.  There were a couple of political topics and one about Facebook publishing, but the rest were just celebrity based.

FML, I can think of nothing worse than having to follow so-called celebrities just to find some content for my blog.  I have had it said that my blog is boring, not really arsed about the opinions of that person because they were hardly trailblazing their way to the dizzy heights of uber-blogger.  The thing is, I don’t blog to gain awards, or make money, or even appear trendy; I blog because it is a release for me, it is a way of sharing things with people who have an interest in my  life – I am talking friends and family here, not fans.  I am aware my content is not to everyone’s taste and there will be days where my blog gets no views.  I actually never check that, mainly because I forget.

Lately, I have been sharing music, mostly because I am going through something huge and it keeps my mind busy.  On a personal level, I am doing the best that I can to keep my shit together; the sharing of music is a release for me and a way at keeping my hand in from a blogging point of view.  It means I have to show up and think about something other than this huge thing that is threatening my piece of mind.

But curiosity got the better of me and whilst I had some quiet time earlier, I checked out Google trends.   It is disheartening to see that blogging has been reduced to worshipping at the altar of celebrity.  You know, many people do not religiously follow the latest celeb news, many like me don’t actually care.  I am assuming the content on Google trends changes regularly and I am going to keep an eye on it, just to satisfy my now piqued curiosity.

Being so obsessed by celebs makes me feel twelve again.  I can’t help but feel that by promoting so-called celebrities to such a prominent place in our society we have forgotten how to have conversations about things that really matter.  It is a sad fact that someone famous being pregnant is a more talked about topic than poverty, world peace, ending suffering for animals, domestic abuse, child abuse, women’s health issues, men’s health issues and many, many more topics that affect us all globally.

I can’t help but feel that a lot of problems could be solved if we, as a society, ditched our obsession with celebville and concentrated more on the problems in our lives, both locally and in the wider community.  It is a sad fact that so many people would rather use celebville as a form of escapism – and whilst I can understand why people do this, I don’t understand how people can become so obsessed by such trivia to the exclusion of everything else.

Trends I would love to see are trends that address real issues such as poverty, stopping the abuse of humans and animals, and many other topics that are worthy.  Bloggers, users on twitter and Facebook, or any other social media platform, should not feel that they are Boring Betty’s just because  they don’t talk about celebs and other such trivia – because let’s face it, that is all it is.  We should never feel like we have to share content just because it is trending and those “gurus” who have declared themselves experts in how to be liked need to quit with their smug attitude over their popularity and start giving a shit about real concerns, not just what is happening in la-la land.