Where I share my love of books with reviews, features, giveaways and memes. Family and needlepoint are thrown in from time to time.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Giveaway - Laura Rider's Masterpiece!


Laura Rider's Masterpiece
by Jane Hamilton


Laura and Charlie Rider have been married for twelve years. They share their nursery business in rural Wisconsin, their love for their animals, and their zeal for storytelling. Although Charlie's enthusiasm in the bedroom has worn Laura out, although she no longer sleeps with him, they are happy enough going along in their routine.

Jenna Faroli is the host of a popular radio show, and in Laura's mind is "the single most famous person in the Town of Dover." When Jenna happens to cross Charlie's path one day, and they begin an e-mail correspondence, Laura cannot resist using Charlie to try out her new writing skills. Together, Laura and Charlie craft florid, strangely intimate messages that entice Jenna in an unexpected way. The "project" quickly spins out of control. The lines between Laura's words and Charlie's feelings are blurred and complicated, Jenna is transformed in ways that deeply disturb her, and Laura is transformed in her mind's eye into an artist. The transformations are hilarious and poignant, and for Laura Rider, beyond her wildest expectations.




Here is a Reader's Guide to use also!


1. Laura muses that “she could only be her ultimate self when she was alone.” She isn’t the only one who has a clear “real” self and a constructed self. In what ways do the characters create new personas? Are these personalities convincing? Are they necessary?

2. Does Laura have the talent to be a writer? Are there rules that writers must follow, as she believes? Is Jenna correct when she suggests that it’s impossible to write without a historical knowledge of what has come before you?

3. How does the first interaction between Charlie and Jenna at the side of the road set the tone for their relationship? What changes and what remains the same once Laura is involved?

4. It is made clear during her interview with Jenna and again at the writers’ conference that Laura is not terribly knowledgeable about books and writing. Was she also na├»ve to involve her husband with another woman? What other characters display inexperience or ignorance?

5. Charlie and Laura are similar to Jenna and Frank in that both couples’ passion for one another has cooled after years of marriage. In what other ways are the couples similar? How are they different?

6. How has e-mail affected correspondence? How has it affected writing in general? What opinions would Charlie, Laura, and Jenna each have on the topic?

7. When Charlie thinks back to his childhood and his life with Laura, he recognizes that Prairie Wind Farm “had never been his goal, in part because he’d never had any particular goals.” If not his job, what else drives Charlie? What other examples are there of the gap between desire and reality?

8. Is a “conscious romance” possible? What kind of relationship would that be like?

9. Is it possible that Laura did, in fact, mean to paste Jenna’s e-mail, whether Laura realizes it consciously or not? Why would she have done it intentionally? Why is her reaction to the e-mail being sent out so different from Charlie’s and Jenna’s reactions?

10. Laura Rider starts a list of what women want. What would be on your list?

11. Who, in the end, has the upper hand in the Jenna Faroli Radio Show interview with Laura Rider? Or do neither or both have the upper hand?

12. Is any character responsible for Jenna and Charlie’s affair? Who or what would be the cause according to Laura? Jenna? Charlie?

13. What is the attraction, either romantic or not, between Charlie, Laura, and Jenna? What does each of them provide to each of the others?

14. In this satire, are all the characters skewered equally?

15. What does Hamilton seem to be saying about the writing life? Are writers necessarily ruthless?




Giveaway

I have three copies of this paperback book to giveaway courtesy of Hachette Books. For your first entry (MUST DO THIS ONE FOR ANY OTHER ENTRIES TO COUNT) tell us if you have ever wanted to be a writer! Oh - and leave your email address.

For additional entries you can sign up to follow (old followers let me know), Twitter or post it on your blog. Each entry must have it's own comment. (Four entries total.)

This giveaway if for U.S./Canada only - no PO boxes and will end Apr 8!

56 comments:

Katrina said...

I always though tit would be a great career to be a children's book author

ykatrina at hotmail dot com

Katrina said...

i follow

ykatrina at hotmail dot com

The Tome Traveller said...

Writer would be my dream job...make your own hours, be your own boss, but I've always known that I don't have the talent for it!

I've been wanting to read this one, please enter me!

Carey
thetometraveller *at* yahoo (dot) com

The Tome Traveller said...

I'm a follower....

Margie said...

I think it would be a great career, but I never thought seriously about it. I am not that creative!
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

-follower
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Anonymous said...

please count me in...thanks

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

i'm a subscriber :)

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

DarcyO said...

Yes, I always wanted to be a writer. I'd love to read this Jane Hamilton book.

dlodden at frontiernet dot net

DarcyO said...

I follow.

dlodden at frontiernet dot net

scottsgal said...

I have a journalism degree so I consider myself a decent writer already although I never wanted to write a book.
msboatgal at aol.com

scottsgal said...

I'm already a follower
msboatgal at aol.com

Bethie said...

Yes, I have always wanted to be a writer. When the kids are a little bigger and things slow down, maybe I'll give it a real try.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

Simply Stacie said...

I used to want to be a writer when I was growing up.

simplystacieblog at gmail dot com

Simply Stacie said...

I follow.

simplystacieblog at gmail dot com

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

No need to enter me, which is good 'cause I'm already living my dream job. Now if it only generated more royalties...

I'm really dropping in to say thanks as always for the e-mail, my friend. I've got this posted at Win a Book for you.

Debbie Rodgers said...

No - I never have wanted to write fiction. I much prefer to read it.

tatamagouche AT netbundle DOT ca

Debbie Rodgers said...

I subscribe by e-mail & follow you on Google Friend

tatamagouche AT netbundle DOT ca

Debbie Rodgers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Benita said...

I write, therefore I consider myself a writer. I've had many poems and a few short stories published. Someday I'd like to have the time and patience to write a novel.

bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

Benita said...

I'm an old follower.

bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

Jonita said...

I've always wanted to write a fictional novel drawing from my experiences as a teenage mom. I'm scared of rejection, though!

jonitathebookchick(at)gmail(dot)com

Jonita said...

I follow through GFC!

jonitathebookchick(at)gmail(dot)com

Jonita said...

I tweeted! www.twitter.com/jonitabookchick

jonitathebookchick(at)gmail(dot)com

Sue said...

I've always wanted to be a writer, but sadly it will never happen... I have great reading skills but very pathetic writing skills. :)
Thank you for the giveaway.

s.mickelson at gmail dot com

ossmcalc said...

I did not and still do not feel that I have good writing skills. I have written math papers that were published but that is a different kind of writing. I just never had the real urge to become a writer even though I love to read other people's writings.

Thank you,

Christine
womackcm@sbcglobal.net

ossmcalc said...

I am one of your old followers.

Thank you,

Christine
womackcm@sbcglobal.net

ossmcalc said...

I tweeted about this giveaway http://twitter.com/ossmcalc/status/10860977965

thank you,

Christine
womackcm@sbcglobal.net

Colleen Turner said...

I have always thought being a writer would be a wonderful way to make a living! I even tried my hand at it a little, but am not quite confident enough in my abilities to go any further. Ah well...being an avid reader is great too!
Thanks,
Colleen
candc320@gmail.com

cherylbaryl said...

I would like to enter this contest. I never thought about being a writer, but I have been told that I am a good writer though.
cherylbaryl@hotmail.com

cherylbaryl said...

I am a follower and posted my comment already.
cherylbaryl@hotmail.com

Linda Kish said...

I enjoy reading but not writing. I am not wordy enough. My books would be very short and to the point.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Carol M said...

I have a lot of respect for writers but even though I would like to, I know I could never be one. I don't have much of an imagination and I'm not good at expressing myself.
mittens0831 at aol dot com

Carol M said...

I'm an old follower.
mittens0831 at aol dot com

Carol M said...

Tweet
http://twitter.com/CarolAnnM/status/11218770185
mittens0831 at aol dot com

Barb said...

I have never wanted to be an author. I struggled enough through English in high school that it turned me off to writing. However, I much appreciate beautiful writing by others.

bstilwell12 at comcast dot net

Barb said...

I am a current follower.

bstilwell12 at comcast dot net

Barb said...

I tweeted about this giveaway:

http://twitter.com/pine1211/status/11384048112

bstilwell12 at comcast dot net

Cindy said...

Yes, I have always wanted to be a writer! I think, though, that I am much better being a reader of other people's books!

Cindy
Socmom213@aol.com

Cindy said...

I follow your blog on Google.

Cindy
Socmom213@aol.com

nel said...

i always thought i had a good Romance Book in me!!!!


dsublady at aol dot com

nel said...

following via GFC


dsublady at aol dot com

nel said...

follow on twitter


@nelricky

nel said...

tweet http://twitter.com/nelricky/status/11526202344


dsublady@aol.com

@nelricky

Karin said...

At 18 I wanted to write Harlequins! A few years later, I thought children's books would be more my speed. Sadly, I have done neither.

karin56381 (at) gmail.com

Colleen Turner said...

Hi there!
I am a follower on email, google connect and facebook. Forgot to post this with my original post.
Thanks,
Colleen
candc320@gmail.com

Anita Yancey said...

I have never wanted to be a writer, because I have no talent for it. I'll just stick to reading the books. Please enter me. Thanks!

ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

Anita Yancey said...

I am an old follower!

ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

Pamela S said...

I think it would be wonderful to be a writer, but I doubt I have any talent for it. I wish I did!! Thanks so much! pamelashockley(AT)netscape(DOT)net

Pamela S said...

Already a follower (pamelashockley) Thanks so much! pamelashockley(AT)netscape(DOT)net

edmontonjb said...

I'm an old follower

dftrew(At)gmail(dot)com

edmontonjb said...

I have always wanted to be a writer. When I was a teenager, a psychic told me I would be an author later in my life, so I'm still holding out hope. LOL

dftrew(at)gmail(dot)com

ossmcalc said...

I am one of your "old" followers.

Thank you,

Christine
womackcm@sbcglobal.net

ossmcalc said...

I have never wanted to be a writer. It was just not my forte. Even these days, I have someone edit my work when I have to write something. It has helped me to learn how my students feel when they get their math papers back covered in red.

Thank you,

Christine
womackcm@sbcglobal.net

ossmcalc said...

I tweeted about this giveaway http://twitter.com/ossmcalc/status/11811427683

Thank you,

Christine
womackcm@sbcglobal.net

Sean said...

please enter me
spynaert@gmail.com

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