I’m cutting it too closely for comfort in my 50/50 challenge (to read 50 nonfiction books in 2012), but when the opportunity to get my hands on Bluff came along to read and review on behalf of Novel Publicity, I couldn’t resist. The description of the book lured me in:
Jude Black lives in that in-between, twilight place teetering on death but clinging to life in order to bring her baby into this world. Only she knows the circumstances surrounding her mysterious fall off the bluff that landed her in the hospital being kept alive by medical intervention. Only she knows who the father of her baby is. In this poignantly crafted literary novel, the mystery unfolds and the suspense builds as the consequences of Jude’s decisions threaten to reveal everyone’s deceptions, even her own.
Bluff offers a sensitive look at essential questions such as the value of human life, the consciousness of those in a coma and the morality of terminating life support. At the core is the story of a tragically misunderstood woman who finds peace, acceptance, understanding and even love on her deathbed.
What drew me to this book was the subject matter: I was curious how the book would handle the controversial issue of woman-as-host. After raptly watching politicians and strangers determine Terri Schaivo’s care several years ago, along with newly-reignited emphasis on women’s reproductive health and privacy issues with the last election, I was interested in seeing how the author would handle these questions: the book opens as her character, Jude, has had a fall down a lakeside cliff (hence the title of the novel), and the only person who can speak for her is her best friend, Frances. Throw in the fact that Jude is a long-divorced lesbian, five months pregnant (and Jude is the only character who knows who impregnated her), there’s enough mystery in the first few pages to fuel a year’s worth of Days of our Lives storylines. That’s not to say the storytelling is overly sensationalized or cheesy; the subject matter is treated respectfully and is certainly believable (and appropriately horrifying, especially when Jude’s perspective is given a turn).
Yes, Jude’s perspective is given in the novel–she’s in a locked-in state, often aware of what is happening around her and to her. Many of the other characters (too many?) also get their chance speak. The perspective changes chapter-to-chapter, each one told in third person limited. However, perhaps a solid third person omniscient narration for the whole book would have served the novel as well or perhaps better because the reader is at the whim of each character’s momentary mood. Still, because all the characters have very different views and incentives, each character gives the reader a little something different. (Some more pleasant than others). The full cast of characters, along with the tireless list of controversial topics, may have made this book perhaps a bit too ambitious, but the book’s fast pace and action make the book worth reading, perhaps even making it a good pick for book clubs. It’s not easy, but it’s a good book, and the kind of book that you really want to talk about with someone.
Novel Publicity Blog Tour Notes
Wanna win a $50 gift card or an autographed copy of Bluff?
- Leave a comment on my blog. One random commenter during this tour will win a $50 gift card. For the full list of participating blogs, visit the official Bluff tour page.
- Enter the Rafflecopter contest! I’ve posted the contest form below, or you can enter on the tour page linked above.
About the author: Lenore Skomal wants you to eat her books. Her passionate desire is to touch your heart, inspire you, and luxuriate in the world of the written word. She is an award-winning author with the single goal of resonating with others. Winner of multiple awards for blogging, literature, biography and humor, her catalogue spans many genres. With 30 years of writing experience, 18 books published, a daily blog and weekly newspaper column, the consistent themes in her work are the big issues of the human experience and adding depth and voice to the intricacies involved in living a multi-dimensional existence. She has won many Society of Professional Journalist awards, the Whidbey Island Writer’s Conference honorable mention for best fiction, Writer’s Digest 73rd Annual Fiction Contest, New York Public Library’s Best Books for Teens 2003, and most recently, the 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Award for humor for “Burnt Toast.,” her first anthology of her award winning humor columns. From journalism, to literary fiction, to humor and biography, her writing is consistent, if not in genre, then in message.
Get Bluff on Amazon.