Read Something New Review

THE WILD OATS PROJECT

by Robin Rinaldi



'The Wild Oats Project' asks, how far would you go to change your life when something, somehow just doesn't feel right inside?

Do you settle and live forever with that stomach-churning-bottom-of-the-pit feeling? Or do you run blindly into the unknown?

Robin Rinaldi runs.

After her husband of eighteen years decides to have a vasectomy, despite her heartfelt pleas for a child, Robin decides to indulge in a quest for passion:

"I refuse to go to my grave with no children and only four lovers. If I can't have one, I must have the other."



And so Robin embarks on an active, unapologetic search for lovers. From Internet dating, online adverts, random strangers and group Orgasmic Meditation sessions; she experiences a cocktail of skilled and unskilled men. While some leave her wanting more, others... well they blow her mind.

It was unusual to witness the relationships with the men she slept with. Instead of descending into the depths of abuse and vulnerability, Robins approach was refreshing and empowering and almost all her encounters turned into friendships. One of the most poignant questions she explores is one I'm sure many woman and men have queried at some point is whether one person can encompass all our desires...

"I had safety and love with Scott. Penetration and intensity with Alden. Childlike joy and adventure with Paul."



As you join Robin on her inquisitive journey, a hunt for the answer to all her deepest desires, you become utterly engrossed in her search for the perfect solution. This book makes you question your own life at every turn of the page. Do you have all you want? Are you happy with what you have? How liberal or conservative are you in the face of sacrifice? How do you decide who's need is greater in your marriage?

Robin had the guts to do what a lot of us struggle to do... To truly liberate ourselves, to strip down and leap off the edge and not give a damn what anyone else thinks.

"I could feel him willing me back into a place where my needs went unmet and I bore it mostly with a smile..."



She found the inner strength to seek freedom when feeling trapped. There was no hesitancy in her decision to submit and surrender or burn up like a Phoenix bird and be reborn from the ashes.

This book left me with a feeling of hope, and my husband scrambling to hide all the matches in the house! I loved Robins capricious energy as it proved that there is such a thing as a happy ending if you are willing to fight for the unknown.

Reviewed by Dana Al Malak on behalf of Chapter One Books

UNDER MAJORDOMO MINOR

by Patrick DeWitt

 

"...if love had so degraded a personage of the barons powers, what might it do to him?"

 

Tender, endearing and laced with comical black humour, this is a delightful tale of soul searching determination as the protagonist Lucien Minor undertakes a new role as the Under Major Domo at the foreboding Castle Von Aux in the employ of one very distraught Baron Von Aux.

 

On arrival Lucien is full of trepidation and palpable excitement, but soon develops a humorous friendship on introduction to the Major Domo, the aged but spirited Mr Olderglough. Romantically challenged, Lucien soon discovers the love of his life in the nearby village and soon explores his new found feelings for Klara. But don't be mistaken, this isn't a simple story of boy meets girl. DeWitt cleverly weaves a gothic tale of love, loss and comic debauchery!

 

As the Baron resurrects from his former demise and makes a spectacular comeback after waiting for his wife to return from years of absence, Lucien unknowingly embarks on a life affirming journey that sees his resilience tested in love, is enlightened of life's curious afflictions and sincerely embracing his new role, he is clueless as to what happens behind closed doors (what happens in the Ballroom, stays in the Ballroom!). Inevitably, murder & satirical mayhem quickly ensues!

 

"Lucy quit the room. Clear of the doorway, he started running. Agnes stayed behind, pouring herself a brandy, and sitting with a sigh in the settee. She sipped her drink, looking about the room with a wary expression. There was something about the ballroom that had always bothered her."

 

The tone of the prose incites mischief and mystery, the language is poetically fluid and as the undercurrent of witty black humour evolved, I found myself captivated by the unfortunate events, giggling at the sarcastic retorts and enamoured by the flow of such cleverly mastered language that exudes a perfect synergy to the storyline. What makes this special? Quite simply the sense of endearing naivety of Lucien so graciously developed by DeWitt. He instills a depth of tenderness that resonates so fully as the plot develops but does not detract from the light, satirical humour and clever dialogue.

 

Suffice to say, I have loved this classic DeWitt tale. The lighthearted, black humour reminiscent of an episode of BlackAdder and the non-sensical, highly entertaining comedy of The Grand Budapest Hotel kept me smiling wholeheartedly as the situation unfolded to a heartwarming conclusion. Don't miss out on a truly engrossing story that sucks you right in and so rapturously devours your senses!

 

Reviewed by Lyndsy Kirkman on behalf of Chapter One Books

SCULPTOR

by Scott McCloud


 

What sets this graphic novel apart is how easy it is to follow some of the more abstract and creative twists in the story.  McCloud is able to get really sassy with elements like Death appearing in the form of a late uncle, angels descending then bursting into clouds of birds and New York turning into a conveyor belt without losing you along the way. 

McCloud is clearly taking liberties with the whole 'creating anything you can imagine with your own hands' theme and it's admirable the way in which he joins right in with the main character in giving his life for this epic work... I hear it took him 3 years to complete!

 

 

Here's something I didn't expect from this graphic novel, it's incredibly tender, romantic and poignant and the pace is very sophisticated.  There isn't a comic book rush of relentless 'pow', 'bang' and 'wollop', or endless streams of dialogue either. The balance of images to speech is perfect, setting the pace to you can really absorb what's going on in each scene. That's not to say this graphic novel is boring, far from it, I was up late reading Sculptor, when you make a deal with death there's no telling how it might end and I was totally invested in finding out!

 

Reviewed by Christine Cafun on behalf of Chapter One