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THE QUEEN ANNE FOX – “Life Changing”

September 17, 2012

The Queen Anne Fox

by Jerol Anderson

Whiskey Creek Press

256 pages, paperback $14.99

This book has affected how I feel about my parents, both dead nearly twenty years, and how I feel about myself. On one hand it is a page-turner who-done-it, on the other it is a profound experience you will never forget. Here is the voice of one of the nurturing principle characters:

I think the secret of growing up is to create a nurturing mother and father inside your own soul. Takes away a lot of the neediness of the child within us. Then you can react to life and those around you as an adult.

I came across this book by accident. My wife had it from the library and read a few pages. Not a fan of crime stories (a young boy and a prostitute are killed months apart and their bodies left in the same Seattle location) she gave it to me. In the first few pages I discovered the narrator had been called in by the police to help solve the murders because of her ESP powers. Give me a break”

But I read on and there proved interesting parallels between Jessica’s own past and that of the victims. Her grandfather had said, “When a person is under heavy stress you find out what they’re really made of. Everyone returns to what they were at five years old.” She ends up trying to ferret out why her own mother deserted her and what role the disparity between her grandparents (who raised her) plays in her life now. That’s why we are revisiting a grade school. Why she needs mental abilities to get into the real mystery of the book (a mystery within a mystery quality that grabs us like Raymond Chandler’s Phillip Marlow stories).

Then this becomes something we, as readers, need to do about our own lives. A profound moment—one that happens maybe once or twice in our lifetime.

But this is even better than words we understand. It is a concrete experience we ourselves have. That’s the miracle of good fiction or nonfiction. Where does the story go from here? Like life, it can lead anywhere. And when it moves inward we have a mystery we must solve.

A few minor mistakes this author may have made with this, her first book. The title seems forgettable. A suspicious, black Thunderbird car becomes a black Mustang. And some (not much) of the dialogue is a little didactic. But, I love the contrasts in references to Wisconsin versus the hip Seattle setting. And with 20 pages to go, I still did not know who the murder was (though the ending proved totally satisfying).

This is the surprise book of the year for me. Get it. Read it. Think about it. Live it.

Buy this directly from the publisher. Click:

http://www.whiskeycreekpress.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=218

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