London Lady Turns Country The story line, Lucy’s transition from London to the countryside, taking the love of her life and determination to get pregnant along with her, is engaging. There’s plenty of opportunity for quirky characters, Sex and the City-style yuppie in the country comedy, and heart-wrenching struggles with the desire to be a mom when the body says “too late.” I read the whole thing because I really did want to know how it ended up. Does Lucy ease into country life? Does she eventually get married? Can she make a baby? I won’t tell you the answers and spoil it.
What Spoiled It But what kind of spoiled it for me was what five-time novelist and Booker Prize judge Louise Doughty is referring to when she tells newbie writers to “Show. Don’t tell.” Telling is when a writer doesn’t let her readers imagine, or give them very much credit. It’s when she does things like describe a character as “strong-willed and tenacious” instead of creating situations where we can figure that out for ourselves. So the quirky characters, yuppie-in-the-country comedy, and mommydom struggles fall pretty flat. Because we haven’t been invited in. We haven’t gotten a real feel for anybody in the book–we just know what they’re like on the surface. I found myself always wanting more.
That being said, I’m still going to pick up Yoga School Dropout, and give maha kudos to Lucy for the writing and story creation skills she has–I’m still dreaming.