Anchovies are a helluva thing…

Years ago I heard someone say “Anchovies are a helluva thing, you either like them or you don’t.” I guess this is true for a lot of things. As I expected, I have received my first negative review. Although I knew it would come, I still found it a bit depressing until I looked more closely at it. Many of the things the reader identified as flaws are things that I like about it.

For example, one thing that I particularly hate in novels and in life is when problems are magnified because no one is willing to discuss them. I have been happily married for 22 years, partially because I don’t allow problems to fester. Therefore my hero and heroine are honest, they generally don’t hide things from each other and they admit when they have made a mistake. This works for me in real life :-).

However, in her review the reader states “In this case, every situation, every disagreement gets resolved a bit too easily.” Yes, in fact for the most part, problems are resolved easily in Highland Solution because the characters generally communicate well. I intended for it to be that way because I believe it is one of the keys to happiness. On the other hand, a reviewer on Amazon wrote “The two main characters were strong but showed compassion and goodness throughout the story.” That too was my intention because in my experience strong, good, compassionate people learn how to resolve problems before they become out of hand. So both readers saw the same thing; one liked it, one didn’t.

I suppose it comes down to personal preference. Anchovies are a helluva thing.

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6 Responses to Anchovies are a helluva thing…

  1. Jeri Bryan says:

    Guess you can’t please everyone, too bad, but you did please me! Keep up the good work. Your story is one of my favorites.

  2. Jeanne Miro says:

    Ceci –

    I loved your post! It reminded me of my very wise Latin teacher back in the 1960’s who told the class (and please forgive any spelling errors because after all it was a very long time ago) “de gustibus non este disputandum” or everyone to their fancy said Nancy as she kissed the cow!

    Remember, beauty (or good books like yours) are in the eye of the beholder (and your story sound wonderful!).

  3. ann leeson says:

    I agree Ceci, you need to be open in a relationship and discuss things before they get out of control, I’ve been with my husband since we were both 17 (I’m now 46 nearly 47) and I can honestly say that we very rarely argue. Even my 2 girls say how come you don’t argue like such and such. Anyway back to your reviewers comment, I for one don’t like it when things spiral out of control and things don’t get resolved after a few pages because I take the characters to heart and feel for them and quite honestly I don’t want to read a book and be upset to think of what they are going through. But that’s me.

    • cecigiltenan says:

      Ann, as I said in the blog post, I really think communication is the key to long happy relationships. You too have clearly discovered this. My husband and I did a World Wide Marriage Encounter (WWME) weekend last November (the weekend hurricane Sandy was heading toward NJ). WWME is designed to build better marriages by improving communication between spouses. It was a wonderful weekend, I highly recommend it. We learned a few things, but perhaps the most profound thing we learned was that we already communicated really well.

      Like you, I also don’t like a lot of avoidable angst in a novel. I can’t tell you how many times I have read a book, that otherwise I loved, where I found myself wanting to shake the lead characters who could have eliminated much of their misery if they had communicated.

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