Today I have The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill for Book Beginnings on Fridays, which ironically I picked up at the library.
Book Beginnings is a fun meme hosted by Rose City Reader blog. To participate, share the first sentence or so of a novel you are reading and your thoughts about it. When you are finished, add your URL to the Book Beginnings page linked above. Hope to see you there!
The Woman in the Library* by Sulari Gentill
(*Amazon Affiliate link- As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)
Summary: The Woman in the Library is a complex story told in the form of metafiction.
What are you writing?
I expect you’ve started something new by now.
The Woman in the Library starts with a letter that is part of an ongoing correspondence between two writers, from Leo who is in Boston to Hannah who lives in Australia.
Chapter One is the beginning of Hannah’s manuscript, a novel within a novel.
Writing in the Boston Public Library had been a mistake. It was too magnificent.
The narrator is a young Australian in Boston for a writing program. She meets three others under strange circumstances at in the Reading Room at the Boston Public Library. When a woman is killed at the library, they are drawn into the mystery.
The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice. The premise is simple. Turn to page 56 in the book and pick a quote.
Detective Kelly asks us to come into the station to give our statements.
This is from Hannah’s novel. As you can see, it is written in the present tense.
At first I was a bit confused about what was going on with the alternating letters and manuscript, but by the end of Chapter One I was all in. This book is a wry bit of metafiction that will keep readers highly entertained, particularly readers who are also writers.
To me, the chapters which were supposed to be the “manuscript” seemed the most real. It was easy to get caught up in the story and the characters, more so than the “letters”.
The Woman in the Library offers a lot to think about on many levels.
What do you think? Do you enjoy metafiction? Have you read a novel by Sulari Gentill?