Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Hunter S. Jones - September Ends

Overweight and dull. That’s how I felt.
My grandfather and brother died. I hid inside a black cave deep in my soul, numbed for a decade on meds, booze, and bad love, married to my glorious career.
My name is Liz Snow, from Atlanta, Georgia, and this is my story.
One hot summer I fell hopelessly in love with successful attorney, Peter William Hendrix III, from Chattanooga, Tennessee. We bonded because of Shelley and Keats. Pete introduced me to the works of modern English poet, Jack O. Savage, It was like The Poet was drawing us together through his blogs and poems, like he had a message for my life and my love with Pete Hendrix.
I lived it in my heart and soul.
It all went tragically wrong once I learned Pete’s secret.
As September ends I jet to London, England with an unstable mind and a broken heart. Pete Hendrix betrayed me big time. There was no time for revenge. My life was a kaleidoscope of stabbing shards of pain.
London ignored me. Maybe I didn't exist. I was lost and lonely in a flat in Kensington. I hear that Jack O. Savage will make a rare public appearance. I wrangle an invitation to the art gallery where he is reading. I was curious. Somehow, he was the cause of my trouble. The rock-star-with-words was even more damaged than I.
Jack O.Savage, The Poet became my friend. Then, an unexpected kiss at a county fair on a perfect
English summer's day changed everything forever. Jack the man became my lover.
My elusive dream of a lifelong love began. If Pete was what I'd always wanted, Jack was what I always needed. The mystery unraveled as the kaleidoscope of my broken life evolved and I found myself living a rainbow of perfect bliss.
Sometimes when you believe it’s the end, it’s only the beginning.
September Ends is a contemporary romance with erotic and supernatural elements bound by poetry. It reveals the intricate web of passion and desire which entangles Liz Snow, Pete Hendrix and Jack O. Savage. The story is told through Liz Snow’s diary, Jack O. Savage’s poetry, and from letters sent across the Atlantic. Traveling throughout the lushness of a summertime in Tennessee and Georgia, September Ends journeys into the elegance of London’s West End and is finally settled in the countryside of Cornwall, England, a decade later.
September Ends is a story of sin, redemption and salvation through love because love happens when we least expect it.

Comment: I got this book after seeing a review somewhere that it was very good. I also checked the general grade at GR and it is very positive, despite this not being the most read book of all times. I was still curious though, and after some time I finally got it. It has been in the pile since last year, to be honest, but I decided to add it to this month's list. Although I think it's a wonderful story, it has some overly dramatic parts too...
Then I finished the book and realized the story didn't seem finished and I've come to know there was a sequel, shorter, where things finally get closure. I was mislead because at GR the editions of the different stories - book and sequel novella - are the same! Very confusing to be honest...
This is a romance divided into two parts. In the first part we have the story of Liz and Peter and Jack, no worries, no actual love triangle - and how Liz and Peter were becoming each other's lives but a tragedy ended it all. Then Liz meets Jack, a poet and the reason Liz and Peter got to know each other in the first place, and her life changes again for the better until another tragedy happens.
The second part of the story, the sequel is more focused on Liz and Jack's daughter and misconducted ideas and the power of redemption, full circle back to Peter.
The central character is actually Liz and how her life, that had everything to be perfect, turns into major challenges, difficulties and love...
Like I said, I was very confused about how this story is presented at GR in terms od editions. There are different covers but they all belong to the same title. It was very disconcerting to realize the first book, the original September Ends, had a continuation - titled September Again, one that actually gives closure to the book. That continuation is titled September Again, but according to GR they are the same thing. And I don't think this was a case of mixing country editions, for instance; they just have the same entry for all the editions (including another novella about the poems used in the book).
Anyway, I ended up reading both parts of the story because I wanted to see what would happen to Liz and if she would forgive and restart her life again.
I liked the writing but the majority of the story was very emotional and heavy. I think there wasn't anything wrong with the writing. There's also a lot of poetry included, namely because the character of Jack is a poet. Apparently there's an anonymous poet who wrote the poems for that section of the plot and to add veracity to the character and the "feel" of the story. They were certainly interesting and I think they were a great addition and an important part of the plot moves.
As for the plot itself...well it's basically the story of a woman who starts exchanging emails with Peter, a lawyer in a office her company is going to have as a client. Their conversations are business at first but then they change into personal and that's the beginning of everything, from their relationship, to discussions of Jack, the poet and eventually the disgraces they both have to face because their relationship wasn't simple. Then Liz moves across the ocean and meets Jack and things change again. All this is told from a very emotional perspective, but there is a sort of ethereal tone in the story, it's not a down-to-earth tale.
I think some scenes and situations were very well explored but others do look like too dramatic for obvious reasons, but personally I think the goal wasn't always accomplished.
The characters are intriguing but they do make choices, they leave some situations drag and as a reader I have to wonder why would they just let things happen, but I can accept the difficulty of seeing reason when under a huge dose of certain emotions and feelings. The practical things were the holes in the story, I just find it so annoying how unpractical journeys across the ocean are but how easily people can do it, pay and do things so fast, it seems like easy routes for tricky situations.
Liz is intriguing and the focus of everything. In the first part I liked her a lot but in the second she looks so frail and - sorry to confess it, TSTL at some points - I wondered if she was the same. Nevertheless, her emotions give power to the story.
Peter is a more classical character, I liked that in the second part he was finally getting over something he felt guilty for, bit I admit those parts were heartbreakingly beautiful.
Jack the poet is intriguing, very wild in terms of personality, I felt sorry for his fate but I understand why the author felt need to portray things that way. These three are key characters and I was looking for some solution where they could all be happy...
Zelda is another important character that has center stage too in the second part, but she was awful, one of those characters we just want to shake and point out how childish and unrealistic she is. She gets a lesson learned and that's fine but I never warmed up to her.
All in all, this story is poignant, deeply emotional and heartfelt, but some scenes, some smaller parts or segments didn't seem as fluid or fitting to the whole and part of my reluctance to like it more comes from there. Plus, the first part simply feels incomplete but I assume not everyone realizes there's more to read, even if the bigger part of the second part is focused on Zelda and very hard to go through.
All in all, writing and emotions on paper are worth a lot, but don't save it completely.
Grade: 7/10

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