Hot Best Seller

The Fiction Class

Availability: Ready to download

A witty, honest, and hugely entertaining story for anyone who loves books, or has a difficult mother. And, let's face it, that's practically everybody . . . On paper, Arabella Hicks seems more than qualified to teach her fiction class on the Upper West Side: she's a writer herself; she's passionate about books; she's even named after the heroine in a Georgette Heyer novel A witty, honest, and hugely entertaining story for anyone who loves books, or has a difficult mother. And, let's face it, that's practically everybody . . . On paper, Arabella Hicks seems more than qualified to teach her fiction class on the Upper West Side: she's a writer herself; she's passionate about books; she's even named after the heroine in a Georgette Heyer novel. On the other hand, she's thirty-eight, single, and has been writing the same book for the last seven years. And she has been distracted recently: on the same day that Arabella teaches her class she also visits her mother in a nursing home outside the city. And every time they argue. Arabella wants the fighting to stop, but, as her mother puts it, "Just because we're family, doesn't mean we have to like each other." When her class takes a surprising turn and her lessons start to spill over into her weekly visits, she suddenly finds she might be holding the key to her mother's love and, dare she say it, her own inspiration. After all, as a lifelong lover of books, she knows the power of a good story.


Compare

A witty, honest, and hugely entertaining story for anyone who loves books, or has a difficult mother. And, let's face it, that's practically everybody . . . On paper, Arabella Hicks seems more than qualified to teach her fiction class on the Upper West Side: she's a writer herself; she's passionate about books; she's even named after the heroine in a Georgette Heyer novel A witty, honest, and hugely entertaining story for anyone who loves books, or has a difficult mother. And, let's face it, that's practically everybody . . . On paper, Arabella Hicks seems more than qualified to teach her fiction class on the Upper West Side: she's a writer herself; she's passionate about books; she's even named after the heroine in a Georgette Heyer novel. On the other hand, she's thirty-eight, single, and has been writing the same book for the last seven years. And she has been distracted recently: on the same day that Arabella teaches her class she also visits her mother in a nursing home outside the city. And every time they argue. Arabella wants the fighting to stop, but, as her mother puts it, "Just because we're family, doesn't mean we have to like each other." When her class takes a surprising turn and her lessons start to spill over into her weekly visits, she suddenly finds she might be holding the key to her mother's love and, dare she say it, her own inspiration. After all, as a lifelong lover of books, she knows the power of a good story.

30 review for The Fiction Class

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    Not totally dreadful, but very, very (VERY!) predictable, with a protagonist who manages to be both dull and annoying. A lot of time focuses on her relationship with her mother, however you never get why this is so difficult. I was going to round this up to three stars (it is a 2.5 if I ever saw one), but then I recalled the whole thread of the book focused on the possible romance with an old man. Yes, old, old, old, could she even imagine being with someone so old? When his age was revealed, he Not totally dreadful, but very, very (VERY!) predictable, with a protagonist who manages to be both dull and annoying. A lot of time focuses on her relationship with her mother, however you never get why this is so difficult. I was going to round this up to three stars (it is a 2.5 if I ever saw one), but then I recalled the whole thread of the book focused on the possible romance with an old man. Yes, old, old, old, could she even imagine being with someone so old? When his age was revealed, he was 53. So, for people in their 50's everywhere, I am rounding down.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Brigitte

    I just finished this book and I am not quite sure what to say. I ended it with a WOW... that was an awesome book. It was exceptionally written, descriptive and inspirational. I have thought about writing and this inspired me(I majored in Journalism and still dabble in writing) Here is where my dilemma comes. I really enjoyed the book, yet it was not riveting. It did not enthrall me and capture my attention. I enjoyed it each time I picked it up, I loved the ending; yet I could set it down for da I just finished this book and I am not quite sure what to say. I ended it with a WOW... that was an awesome book. It was exceptionally written, descriptive and inspirational. I have thought about writing and this inspired me(I majored in Journalism and still dabble in writing) Here is where my dilemma comes. I really enjoyed the book, yet it was not riveting. It did not enthrall me and capture my attention. I enjoyed it each time I picked it up, I loved the ending; yet I could set it down for days and not think of the characters or want to get back to it. To me a truly good book is one where you cannot get the characters out of your mind, and this book is one I really liked/loved but yet was not captivating. I am glad I read this book and would recommend it to others.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Christa

    I liked this first Susan Breen book that I have read. I found the central character, Arabella, to be likeable and sympathetic. The relationship that develops between Arabella and her writing class was touching. This book was not primarily a romance, but it did contain a romance. I was disappointed that Chuck, the man Arabella becomes involved with, was not fleshed out a little more as a character. He is fifty three years old, and although we know a bit about his work history and that he has been I liked this first Susan Breen book that I have read. I found the central character, Arabella, to be likeable and sympathetic. The relationship that develops between Arabella and her writing class was touching. This book was not primarily a romance, but it did contain a romance. I was disappointed that Chuck, the man Arabella becomes involved with, was not fleshed out a little more as a character. He is fifty three years old, and although we know a bit about his work history and that he has been divorced twice, we are not given much more. I wanted to know why both of his marriages failed, and even if he had children. I was also confused by the story that Arabella's mother wrote. I found her story to be generally odd, and had trouble understanding what was in it that made Arabella feel so much better about her relationship with her mother. Aside from these issues, I found it to be a very good book. Arabella Hicks teaches an adult fiction writing class. She has been working on her own novel for the past seven years, but can't seem to find an ending that works. Arabella visits her mother who is in a nursing home after class every week. She loves her mother, but her mother is a difficult person who has had a very hard life. Arabella's father had a disease that caused him to be an invalid, and her mother nursed him as Arabella grew up. Arabella's mother has had Parkinson's disease for years, and all of Arabella's relationships with men have ended due to her obligations to her mother. Arabella's current fiction class starts off a bit shakily, but the members soon bond with one another and Arabella. As the class progresses, Arabella begins a new relationship, and her mother's condition deteriorates. Arabella begins to share her class assignments with her mother, who has decided to write a story herself. Arabella must come to terms with her relationship with her mother, and to decide if she truly trusts the man with whom she is involved. The Fiction Class was an interesting book, but I found it a bit depressing at times due to the experiences Arabella had been through in the past with her father's health and is now facing with her mother. I also thought that Arabella was sometimes unfair in her judgement of Chuck. One of the most interesting aspects of the book was the class assignment that was listed after each chapter about the fiction class.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Maria

    As an aspiring writer, I liked this book because I found the writing exercises that Arabella gives to her students very interesting and helpful. That said, the Arabella character annoyed me (her constant battle with her mom seemed a bit forced) Maybe because I have a great relationship with my mom, but I wasn't able to relate to her at all, and half the time i found myself wanting to slap her because she seemed so self-involved and needy. The ending (what really happened with her dad) was a surp As an aspiring writer, I liked this book because I found the writing exercises that Arabella gives to her students very interesting and helpful. That said, the Arabella character annoyed me (her constant battle with her mom seemed a bit forced) Maybe because I have a great relationship with my mom, but I wasn't able to relate to her at all, and half the time i found myself wanting to slap her because she seemed so self-involved and needy. The ending (what really happened with her dad) was a surprise, and i enjoyed reading Vera's story.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    This book started out with a really interesting concept, but crashed and burned with an unlikable lead character and badly written details...example...how can you write about a woman in a nursing home but not know the difference between Medicare and Medicaid? This is the only book I've ever read with a death scene of a lead character that didn't evoke any emotion in me. Skip this one! This book started out with a really interesting concept, but crashed and burned with an unlikable lead character and badly written details...example...how can you write about a woman in a nursing home but not know the difference between Medicare and Medicaid? This is the only book I've ever read with a death scene of a lead character that didn't evoke any emotion in me. Skip this one!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Scottsdale Public Library

    If you enjoy beautiful writing; if you've ever wanted to BE a writer; if you have a difficult mother; this is the book for you! -Candy V.- If you enjoy beautiful writing; if you've ever wanted to BE a writer; if you have a difficult mother; this is the book for you! -Candy V.-

  7. 5 out of 5

    Becky (Blogs of a Bookaholic)

    DNF'd half way through. Load of rubbish and it has bad writing. Akward, when the plot is all about how to write well. Life's too short. DNF'd half way through. Load of rubbish and it has bad writing. Akward, when the plot is all about how to write well. Life's too short.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Tulika

    I am very conflicted about this book. There were somethings that I completely loved and then some that dragged the book down. All I'll do is list out the pros and the cons and I'll leave you to make up your mind. Pros: The setting was fabulous. I wonder why more writers don't write books set in writing classes. There's so much creative energy in there, so many thoughts and ideas flowing back and forth - between the participants. Do full marks to the setting. The author's love for books shines throu I am very conflicted about this book. There were somethings that I completely loved and then some that dragged the book down. All I'll do is list out the pros and the cons and I'll leave you to make up your mind. Pros: The setting was fabulous. I wonder why more writers don't write books set in writing classes. There's so much creative energy in there, so many thoughts and ideas flowing back and forth - between the participants. Do full marks to the setting. The author's love for books shines through. To begin with the protagonist is named after a Georgette Heyer heroine. How cool is that! Everything she sees and feels reminds her of a book and that was so very identifiable. I loved the way Arabella breaks down the writing process. She's a great teacher for fiction writing. Her writing exercises were so very creative I'd have loved to take them up. Since I've not been to a writing class I don't know if all of them work this way, but definitely I enjoyed this one immensely. Cons: Arabella's obsession with her mom is too well.. obsessive. However the part I found the book most lacking in was that we don't get to see her relationship with her students developing over time. Yes, she continuously imagines what their lives would be like but she holds herself back from probing them citing writing class rules. Her obsession with her mom seems all consuming, it leaves little space for interest/concern for other people. That was specially true for Pam - we never get to know why she was the way she was. The fact that they become one happy family has to reiterated (more than once) in words rather than coming through on its own. I'll still say read it, specially if you want to learn to write.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sandi Ward

    A terrific story for authors and teachers to read—and anyone who has ever taken a creative writing class! The main character, Arabella, teaches fiction writing, and I loved learning more about the characters taking the class as their personalities emerged over the course of several weeks. I also stopped to think about the exercises they were assigned, and liked how the assignments were included in the story. There were many great nuggets of fiction-writing advice interspersed in the book. This b A terrific story for authors and teachers to read—and anyone who has ever taken a creative writing class! The main character, Arabella, teaches fiction writing, and I loved learning more about the characters taking the class as their personalities emerged over the course of several weeks. I also stopped to think about the exercises they were assigned, and liked how the assignments were included in the story. There were many great nuggets of fiction-writing advice interspersed in the book. This book made me very nostalgic for fiction classes I've taken in the past, and now I want to sign up for another one! The primary mother-daughter relationship in the book (Arabella and her mom, in a nursing home) was complex—sometimes prickly and sometimes warm and loving. It struck me as very realistic, touching, and ultimately hopeful.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mike Courson

    Book 10 of 2021 Before I blow up a writer I've never met, I try to remind myself: he/she has a published book and you do not. Tread wisely. It's been a long while since I grabbed a random fiction book from the shelf. The shelf here happens to be my own as I have many books of this sort I likely found at a Dollar store or book sale for a good price and thought maybe I'd pick it up some day. Having recently finished White's and Strunk's Elements of Style, and even more recently Stephen King's On Writ Book 10 of 2021 Before I blow up a writer I've never met, I try to remind myself: he/she has a published book and you do not. Tread wisely. It's been a long while since I grabbed a random fiction book from the shelf. The shelf here happens to be my own as I have many books of this sort I likely found at a Dollar store or book sale for a good price and thought maybe I'd pick it up some day. Having recently finished White's and Strunk's Elements of Style, and even more recently Stephen King's On Writing, I'm vaguely familiar with many of the topics in Arabella's writing class. How fun it must be to make those bits of advice the centerpiece of a novel? Well... As others have said, predictable. As others have said, unlikable protagonist. That pretty much sums it up. I do not favor books with too many zany characters as I just don't think life is that way. Most bothersome to me were all the interruptions. Our main character Arabella is always being startled by something. In real life...terrifying for her. In writing...lazy transition. The problem with introducing too many characters, then using asides to describe the characters, it's difficult for the reader to keep them straight! I never really pictured any of the characters in my head. Even when Arabella uncovered the secret lives of these characters, in an attempt to add depth to them, I still thought they were hollow. Worst yet, I never got in the head of Arabella. Each of her asides/thoughts seemed totally random and not relatable at all. Finally, the big conflict in the book is the one between Arabella and her mother. Again, I thought it a little lazy and cliche. I never felt much for either character. Worst yet, each was work on her own novel and we the reader got to read three stories in one! Just tell me one good one! In the end, I finished it which is always a credit to the writer. And Ms. Breen is published. For that I'm tremendously jealous. It's not the worst read. Don't want to be offended...this is a good book for you. Like really light reading...for you. Even some of the writing tips are pretty solid stuff you'll find in other books about writing. Unfortunately it just came up a bit shy of my expectations.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Rather scripted and predictable. The central character, Arabella, never really came to life nor did I particularly care for her. There were also several logistical problems with this novel. For one thing, the author has chosen to write the book in third person. However, she so frequently notes the thoughts racing through Arabella's mind that the story becomes bogged down, to the point that the flow of the story is interrupted. With so much devoted to Arabella's inner psyche I believe Breen would Rather scripted and predictable. The central character, Arabella, never really came to life nor did I particularly care for her. There were also several logistical problems with this novel. For one thing, the author has chosen to write the book in third person. However, she so frequently notes the thoughts racing through Arabella's mind that the story becomes bogged down, to the point that the flow of the story is interrupted. With so much devoted to Arabella's inner psyche I believe Breen would have been better off writing from a first person perspective. Additionally, Arabella's relationship with her elderly mother is pegged as being volatile yet I found no basis for Arabella's almost venomous rage towards her mother. Arabella teaches a writing course at a small adult school where she develops a relationship with one of her students. Not once did she question the inappropriateness of this. Granted, she's no Mary Kay Letourneau. It is, after all a voluntary adult school and the gentleman is several years her senior, but I'm still quite certain the administration would frown upon her intimate fraternization. The part of the book that most interested me was how she conducted her classes. Early on in the novel this also brought me some anxiety because she began as such a poor teacher, so out of control, such disdain for her students. I know that panicky out of control feeling, the track of the class slipping away yet I have never been so quick to prejudge my students and find them lacking. I guess the main problem was that, although so much time was spent describing Arabella's thoughts, I could not decipher the motivation for many of her actions. The novel is quite predictable and the fact that Arabella is so blind to the obvious changes taking place frustrated me. So, why the three stars? Because it passed the When I Put This Down Am I Eager To Return To It? Test. I always get something out of watching or reading about how someone else teaches. Oh, and I did come away with one terrific writing exercise idea to use in my own classroom.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Carmen

    I enjoyed reading this book. It is wonderfully ... constructed. I struggle here because I don't want to say that it is well-written, because I don't really think it is...It is however, beautifully put together. The sentences are composed so that I smiled often as I read them. The paragraphs are descriptive and full of body. The story, though, left me wanting. I think Breen wants me to see Arabella as a flawed heroine. Someone who has struggled her entire life with who she is and what her relati I enjoyed reading this book. It is wonderfully ... constructed. I struggle here because I don't want to say that it is well-written, because I don't really think it is...It is however, beautifully put together. The sentences are composed so that I smiled often as I read them. The paragraphs are descriptive and full of body. The story, though, left me wanting. I think Breen wants me to see Arabella as a flawed heroine. Someone who has struggled her entire life with who she is and what her relationship is with her mother means. Instead, she is sophomoric, neurotic and a little pathetic. The relationship with Chuck is completely unbelievable in that it happens much too fast. She pushes him away, she runs into his embrace, she goes home with him, where "he prepares to love her". Very immature and underdeveloped to be the kind of romance that I think Breen is after: a life that Arabella's mother and father never had. Instead, it feels shallow and superficial. The crux of the book is Arabella's relationship with her mother, who became bitter and distant after her husband (Arabella's father) dies. As Arabella reads her mother's story, she is irritated by the character of Annie, but doesn't seem to see that she IS Annie and is every bit as needy, neurotic, self-serving and one-dimensional as the character. In the end of the story, Arabella finds that the mother understands the daughter and the daughter is somehow redeemed because she is shoving her dying father's fish dinner into her mouth. See what I mean? Breen did not pull me into this ride. Instead, I stood on the road and admired the vehicle. The craft of the writing redeems this book for me, and I will read another by this author, in the hopes that her writing matures as Arabella never did. Recommended, but don't rush to it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    BJ Rose

    Arabella has been writing her own novel for 7 years, but is stuck on writing an ending. She is currently teaching an adult fiction-writing class, but resents the attitudes and what she has projected as the life styles of her students. Her mother is suffering from advanced Parkinson's, and Arabella visits her for 2 hours every week, but resents the fact that this visit is on the same day as her fiction class. In fact, Arabella harbors a lot of resentment - basically, she feels very sorry for hers Arabella has been writing her own novel for 7 years, but is stuck on writing an ending. She is currently teaching an adult fiction-writing class, but resents the attitudes and what she has projected as the life styles of her students. Her mother is suffering from advanced Parkinson's, and Arabella visits her for 2 hours every week, but resents the fact that this visit is on the same day as her fiction class. In fact, Arabella harbors a lot of resentment - basically, she feels very sorry for herself. She is not a very likeable character at the beginning of this novel. However, as the weeks go on, Arabella begins to care about her students rather than resent them, and to consider them as people and not as problems. It is at this point that she becomes a good teacher and, not surprisingly, develops a positive character. And as her attitude toward her students changes and improves, so does her understanding and acceptance of her mother. This was a journey of acceptance - of self and of others. The weekly writing assignments and lesson hints were a bonus.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Baba

    Despite the 'chic-lit' pastel cover and references to difficult mothers, 'books and romance Manhattan style' on the cover blurb, this is actually an interesting tale about a fiction class tutor, teaching adults how to write. Each chapter has a detailed lesson on fiction writing as taught to an eclectic group of 11 students. Arabella, the tutor, as well as having a romance of sorts, also visits her poorly elderly mother after each class... and these three worlds become entangled. A nice read, and Despite the 'chic-lit' pastel cover and references to difficult mothers, 'books and romance Manhattan style' on the cover blurb, this is actually an interesting tale about a fiction class tutor, teaching adults how to write. Each chapter has a detailed lesson on fiction writing as taught to an eclectic group of 11 students. Arabella, the tutor, as well as having a romance of sorts, also visits her poorly elderly mother after each class... and these three worlds become entangled. A nice read, and yet another example of good contemporary writing being dumped in the 'chic-lit' category, so not exposed to more readers? 6 out of 12.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mohammed Asiri

    Sometime, you are attracted to a book because of its title, author, but sometimes, for me, the price. When I am thinking of a topic, I'd like to fetch every single resource that would enrich my knowledge about it; the book with lower price is so attractive to me. However, after spending much time trying to see how worth this book to me, I turned out that it is suitable for who wants to read for reading, nothing else. The fiction class is a novel about a class not about fiction. I profess, it's gr Sometime, you are attracted to a book because of its title, author, but sometimes, for me, the price. When I am thinking of a topic, I'd like to fetch every single resource that would enrich my knowledge about it; the book with lower price is so attractive to me. However, after spending much time trying to see how worth this book to me, I turned out that it is suitable for who wants to read for reading, nothing else. The fiction class is a novel about a class not about fiction. I profess, it's great in catching details and introducing classmates, characters.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Not without its entertaining qualities, much like reading the book equivalent of the corny romcom you'd watch on TBS on a rainy Sunday afternoon and find yourself simultaneously engaged by the story and laughing at the obvious story line. But let's face it, don't you always get to the end of that movie and go, I know I didn't have anything else to do, but did I really just waste my entire afternoon on that? Not without its entertaining qualities, much like reading the book equivalent of the corny romcom you'd watch on TBS on a rainy Sunday afternoon and find yourself simultaneously engaged by the story and laughing at the obvious story line. But let's face it, don't you always get to the end of that movie and go, I know I didn't have anything else to do, but did I really just waste my entire afternoon on that?

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    *Boo* *Hiss* Totally forgettable.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Dena

    I put this book down halfway through. I didn't like the way it was written. There was a novel within the novel and I didn't get it. I never connected with any of the characters either. I put this book down halfway through. I didn't like the way it was written. There was a novel within the novel and I didn't get it. I never connected with any of the characters either.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Marty

    Pretty pointless and stupid

  20. 4 out of 5

    Nikki

    You shouldn't write a book about a fiction class if you don't actually know how to write fiction, unless you're going for irony. You shouldn't write a book about a fiction class if you don't actually know how to write fiction, unless you're going for irony.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    As both a reader and writer I enjoyed this book very much. I'll be looking for more of Susan Breen's books. As both a reader and writer I enjoyed this book very much. I'll be looking for more of Susan Breen's books.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jackie

    Enjoyed this a lot, mostly the writing class section.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn Pina

    Great literature? No. A nice story? Yes. An interesting, heartwarming story.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Deana

    More like 3.5 stars by the end. But didn't quite make it to 4 just because the beginning was so low. Had I rated it halfway (or maybe even 2/3) through, it would have been a solid 2 stars. So it was worth the read after all, and won't end up in my donate pile. This book started out slowly and pretty "meh". I mean, it was fine for a light summer read, but the characters had no depth and were pretty sterotyped, the writing 'exercises' were not impressive, and one of her parents had MS and the other More like 3.5 stars by the end. But didn't quite make it to 4 just because the beginning was so low. Had I rated it halfway (or maybe even 2/3) through, it would have been a solid 2 stars. So it was worth the read after all, and won't end up in my donate pile. This book started out slowly and pretty "meh". I mean, it was fine for a light summer read, but the characters had no depth and were pretty sterotyped, the writing 'exercises' were not impressive, and one of her parents had MS and the other had Parkinsons?! What are the chances? And I thought for sure that the "plot" was just a romance having to do with the "elegant older man" who whispers too much ... and I wasn't entirely wrong, but thankfully that wasn't the only (or most important) part of the plot. Early in the book she basically explained that she has zero credentials for teaching this class and has never been published and a student is upset by that.... and the character/author try to make a point that it's not necessary but... I'd definitely be thinking the same way this one student is. Why in the world is this person teaching when she seems to have no credentials? Reminds me of people who say "those who cannot do, teach". Makes me very sad to think of teachers that way. But, as her relationship with her mother progressed... as we started reading the mother's story (which made me think the mom is a better writer than the fiction teacher)... something happened. The last portion of the book was wonderful, and had me both crying and happy at the end.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Quinn

    The premise of the book is clever--an adult-education writing teacher (Arabella) lives much of her life in class, focusing on her students' lives and writing. After class, she runs to visit her mother in a nearby nursing home. After each chapter, Breen posts an exercise from her "class." In the book, Arabella's mother decides she wants to write a book as if she were in Arabella's class. The good news: the premise is interesting, and watching people's writing develop (although you just get chunks The premise of the book is clever--an adult-education writing teacher (Arabella) lives much of her life in class, focusing on her students' lives and writing. After class, she runs to visit her mother in a nearby nursing home. After each chapter, Breen posts an exercise from her "class." In the book, Arabella's mother decides she wants to write a book as if she were in Arabella's class. The good news: the premise is interesting, and watching people's writing develop (although you just get chunks of people's discussion, not their writing assignments) is a new way to look at a class. The idea of the writing prompts and Arabella's mother wanting, suddenly, to write, feels fresh. The not-so-good news: Arabella is in her mid-30s and has two engagements behind her. She has a novel she hasn't finished, not in seven years. All her relationships are unresolved, unfinished, and incomplete. Even when she starts dating an older man in her class, she cannot fully commit, and doesn't want to leave. That part was really verbally threadbare and left me disappointed--too much spinning, not enough weaving.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    I loved this quick read, but I don't know that it's for everyone. The story line about a fiction class teacher heading out after class each week to visit her mother in a nursing home might not have broad appeal, and I know that my husband, who lost his mother last year after a number of months in this setting, would not be able to read it. However, as a lifelong editor who struggles to put pen to paper to write her own words, I really learned a lot from what the main character shared with her cl I loved this quick read, but I don't know that it's for everyone. The story line about a fiction class teacher heading out after class each week to visit her mother in a nursing home might not have broad appeal, and I know that my husband, who lost his mother last year after a number of months in this setting, would not be able to read it. However, as a lifelong editor who struggles to put pen to paper to write her own words, I really learned a lot from what the main character shared with her class each week (including chapter-ending exercises that I might be tempted to try some day). And showing the teacher being taught by the class, and by her own mother's story, really moved me.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Autumn

    I genuinely really loved this book and might have given it 5 stars if it hadn't been for some outdated language sprinkled throughout it. I loved that it actually taught me about fiction writing while reading a piece of fiction, and it felt grounded in the authers real experience as a writing teacher. It was a sentimental, romantic book, but also the topic of grief and processing a loved ones death was tackled head on and it was well written and gut-wrenching. One aspect of this book that caught m I genuinely really loved this book and might have given it 5 stars if it hadn't been for some outdated language sprinkled throughout it. I loved that it actually taught me about fiction writing while reading a piece of fiction, and it felt grounded in the authers real experience as a writing teacher. It was a sentimental, romantic book, but also the topic of grief and processing a loved ones death was tackled head on and it was well written and gut-wrenching. One aspect of this book that caught me off guard was In the acknowledgements at the start the author mentions her son who passed away young, and it definitely made the experience of reading it a little more emotional for me.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    Because the story is centered around a writing class, I am into it before the story even begins. Arabella teaches a writing class and then visits her mother in a nursing home each week after class. They have a challenging relationship and often the visits end with a disagreement of some sort. But during the course of the story, Arabella learns some things about her mother and about her own life, that lead her to reconcile her feelings about her mother and lead her into a relationship she might n Because the story is centered around a writing class, I am into it before the story even begins. Arabella teaches a writing class and then visits her mother in a nursing home each week after class. They have a challenging relationship and often the visits end with a disagreement of some sort. But during the course of the story, Arabella learns some things about her mother and about her own life, that lead her to reconcile her feelings about her mother and lead her into a relationship she might never have given a chance before.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ginny Thurston

    I think this is a great book to learn how to write fiction. The side story with the mother and the romance are a bit creaky, but it resonates with human suffering…. those afflicted with diseases like MLS…and why they may be a bit bitter and cranky. It depicts how family members are also affected. There were some touching moments about members of the fiction class, as well, but I won’t spoil the story.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

    Arabella was named by her mother for a character in a Georgette Heyer novel. Is it any wonder that she grew up to become a writer and a teacher of writing? This story is about one class that she teaches and how she comes to interact with the students. Each chapter is a lesson that she teaches. I almost wanted to complete the exercises myself!

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...