I cannot remember when I came across the blog The 50 Year Project. I decided to follow it because I was intrigued by the blogger’s desire to read the books and watch the films that were on her list – and I enjoyed looking at photos from the countries she had visited. Through her posts, I came to learn that T.B. Markinson wished to write and publish a book – and then she did it! She now blogs at Making my Mark where she writes book reviews, author interviews and also posts about her own books and experiences in self-publishing. She has now self-published her second book, Marionette.
I began reading the story soon after it arrived on my e-reader. From the very first paragraph, I was drawn into the story: I was placed in the head of Paige Alexander, a girl who is on the brink of young adulthood. Within the first few pages, Markinson had me guessing: unexpected phrases caught me off guard and delivered an unanticipated beginning to this story.
Written in the first person, the reader gets an insight into the personality of the main character. As I turned the pages of this book, I began to understand why Paige had made the decision to slit her wrists in an attempt to end her life. The conversations with her therapist, and those with her peers, highlight her lack of confidence and self-esteem. Paige is a young woman who has yet to stand tall for what she believes in; and to share with others who she really is. The fear she has of her parents prevents her from thinking clearly and remaining true to herself.
While reading the story, I found myself cheering Paige on with encouragement. What I liked most about this character is that she grows stronger during the story: the woman she loves, her therapist and her friends all encourage her to be true to herself despite her fears. The encouragement is done in a supportive way; and acceptance is shown with the pace that Paige sets herself. Slowly Paige begins to trust those closest to her and shares the secret of what has caused her fears.
Marionette has been listed under the genre of Lesbian Romance. This was my first reading of a book of this genre and I found I was pleasantly surprised. Markinson tastefully introduces the relationship between the two women and I felt, while reading the novel, that it was secondary to the story. Much of what Paige struggles with is the need to be open with others about her relationship with Jess, her girlfriend. It was interesting to see how Paige works at hiding her sexual preferences, and how she eventually comes to acknowledge Jess’ presence in her life.
Would I read something else written by this author? Yes. She did not disappoint me. Unlike other self-published books I have read, Marionette was formatted correctly for my e-reader. There were no glaring grammatical errors to offend me; and the novel had obviously been edited. I celebrate that a fellow blogger has achieved her dream of publishing and that she has created an enjoyable piece of writing.
Have you read a novel from the Lesbian Romance genre?
© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013