Thursday, 4 April 2013

D is for Dolores

Cover of "She's Come Undone - 1993 public...
Cover of She's Come Undone - 1993 publication
Dolores Price is the heroine of Wally Lamb's debut novel, She's Come Undone. As the title suggests, Dolores life goes seriously off track after a childhood that includes the death of a sibling in childbirth; discovering her much-loved father is an adulterer; and having to go and live with a stern and unemotional grandmother when her own mother has a mental breakdown. A lifetime of misfortune in many formats follows but because of the voice that Wally Lamb has created for Dolores it never actually feels like hard going.

She is delusional, obsessive, surly and sometimes alarming but also self-deprecating, funny, endearing and really easy to relate to. As I've been learning to write fiction over the last few years one of the things that comes up time and time again in the different classes that I do is that if you create a compelling voice for your character that reels people in, no matter what happens in the story, or what those characters might do, people will care.

I think Dolores is a fine example of this in action. She has a horrendous time and behaves in ways that are very scary and really not right, but it doesn't matter. I liked her, I cared about what happened to her and the fact that the book didn't have the fairytale happy ending that she was looking for made her character, and the novel, all the more stronger. Dolores made me laugh, she made my skin crawl and she made me cry - not once did she ever bore me.
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9 comments:

  1. Now Delores sounds like a character I would like. Thanks for introducing her here. I have this list now of books I have to read soon. This will be one of them!

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    1. Courtesy of my A-Z blogs your reading pile is going to be huge! I'm now aiming to get you to adding them all ;)

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  2. I have had this book on my ereader for a while and haven't gotten to it yet. Maybe this summer.

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    1. Hi Susan, it's definitely worth reading.

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  3. A story does NOT have to end happily-ever-after, but it MUST be exciting. Sounds like this fits both criteria. Thanks for sharing.
    Happy A to Z'ing...

    http://writer-in-transit.co.za/

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    1. I completely agree, Michelle. But sadly lots of books opt for the tidy, neat, happy ending and leave me feeling deflated. This one definitely didn't.

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  4. My daughter read this book a few weeks ago and loved it.

    Dropping by from the A to Z Challenge. It's my first year.

    Brett Minor
    Transformed Nonconformist

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    1. Thanks for reading, Brett. And good luck with the challenge. Your D post is very scary!

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  5. You keeping adding to my 'to read' pile! I'm not complaining. :)

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