Annalise has posted three parts of a story of
British characters on an extended weekend adventure in New York. The only caution that
provides for American readers is that Annalise uses, naturally enough, Queens
English spellings and British word choices. If that gives you pause, all I could say would
be: Expand your horizons.
There has been a several month break in the posted segments to
"The Shopping Trip", something which surely disappoints the mostly enthusiastic
reviewers. The destruction of the World Trade Center would not necessarily alter the
story, although it may very well have dampened the authors enthusiasm to continue.
Although the story has some sex description as the hero(ine) finds
mutual attraction with an old acquaintance, the story focuses mostly on the easily growing
enjoyment of Paul/Sally with the feminine aspects of appearance, especially clothing. None
of the characters fit into the evil or twisted categories. The story is merely a pleasant
group weekend with an unusual twist. Not so unusual for stories here, but in the wider
universe . . .
Although the story is pleasant and the writing competent, Annalise
could use a good editor. There are some minor logical and narrative problems that a second
pair of eyes would have easily discovered. An editor would have helped Annalise avoid
putting speeches by different characters in the same paragraph as well as break up some
long paragraphs. Annalises writing also falls into the trap of the literate:
multi-part sentences that would read more smoothly split apart. Alas, a decent story
beginning off a nice premise reads at times a bit like a one draft wonder.
A more difficult task would be to improve the demonstration of
motivation. Annalise strives not to have wax-figure characters, to give them emotions and
motivation. Annalise strives hard in limited space, but the result relies heavily on
speeches. The speeches do not overwhelm the read, they merely make it bog down a bit.
At the posted point in the story, I suspect that an idea for a brief
story has outgrown its original ambition. I hope that Annalise finds the motivation to
resume the story, taking the time to plot out the full story and rework the early effort.
There is the crux of an interesting divertissement, there are relationships awaiting
development, but what is does not fulfill the obvious potential of Annalises talent.
Even so, "The Shopping Trip" is a pleasant enough read, providing a number of
threads to tantalize the reader about possible future story developments.