Making new fiction successful in the marketplace is probably the highest risk enterprise ever invented. So I can’t help but try to mitigate that risk, and one way is to get feedback on my novel In the Mouth of the Wolf from a test panel of regular readers. These are not writers or aspiring writers, just people who enjoy historical fiction. Here are some highlights:
From Peni Schwartz:
I completed your book in just three days and enjoyed it very much. It’s clear you have spent a good deal of time and effort to write a novel that both grabs the reader’s interest and touches their heart.
From Gail Longo:
Thank you for the gift of the opportunity to read your book. It caused me to reflect more on the broader picture of humans in daily struggles with personal relationships. It aroused my feelings of sadness over emotional eruptions that spur nations to justify war. War causes innocent people great suffering, loss of life and homeland. It seems like it is universally condoned by the leaders of nations. To me, war feels like the giant emotional tantrum of a child mind. It is that part of the mind that stops breathing so that the mind and heart are frozen and blind without ways to resolve the pain.
Amedeo was kind and heroic in teaching his neighbors to read, choosing books to awaken their appreciation of life as an adventure, and to encourage poetry blending emotions with history. I like the portrayal of his wife, her courage and strength of will. I am glad that Amedeo held love in his heart for his brother, and that even though he was bewildered and grieving the loss of that relationship, he persevered in reaching out to his brother to confront him with questions that led them to fill in the gaps between the years. I find that the image of the two of them together at the end lingers in my mind.
From Emilio Marasco:
I enjoyed the book. What I liked best was how you used history to account for the brothers’ actions toward each other. You may run into the issue that most Americans don’t know Italy’s role in WWI or (and some couldn’t care less) what was happening in Europe between the world wars, e.g. how and why Fascism arose in Italy.
From Cecilia Strettoi:
E’ stato un vero piacere leggere il suo romanzo! It was a real pleasure reading your novel! I really needed a good book…and it was impossible to put down. One of the things I liked best was the character of Maria and her message that it is not really important to establish a line between what and who is Italian and what and who is Austrian. She is not political; she goes beyond definitions and she cares about the peace and the serenity of her family and – ultimately — her city. It is true that Trieste’s history is very peculiar and that its people had to endure a longer tragedy than the rest of Italy, and this emerges very clearly. Grazie di aver scritto questo romanzo! Thank you for writing this novel!
Mille grazie a tutti quanti! Many thanks to all of you!