At A Loss For Words by Diane Schoemperlen

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At A Loss For Words by Diane Schoemperlen

Category: General Fiction
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Ekaterina Rodyunina
Reviewed by Ekaterina Rodyunina
Summary: The story goes like this: a certain writer lady in her late fourties suffers from a case of writer's block and overcomes it by pouring her unfortunate love affair out on paper. That's it, that's the plot. It is a carefully written word-for-word failed relationship account. Every emotion is mentionned, not even the punctuation of love letters is left unattended, each teeny weeny event noted. Makes a wonderful post-break-up or tired-of-being-single read.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 208 Date: July 2008
Publisher: Maia Press Limited
ISBN: 978-1904559320

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It's a great shame that I have an uncorrected proof edition and therefore not allowed to quote from the book: author Diane is a master of one-liners. Come to think of it, she is a master of a lot of things: descriptions of the female psyche, spot-on remarks, keeping the reader on her toes. HER toes because here's a book about women written for women by a woman.

The story goes like this: a certain writer lady in her late forties suffers from a case of writer's block and overcomes it by pouring her unfortunate love affair out on paper. That's it, that's the plot. It is a carefully written word-for-word failed relationship account. Every emotion is mentioned, not even the punctuation of love letters is left unattended, each teeny weeny event noted. Makes a wonderful post-break-up or tired-of-being-single read.

Let's hope the book is not even remotely autobiographical, because that would just be sad, like reading a diary without consent.

The plot perhaps sounds corny and boring and depressive, but it is not. Far from. It is a gripping book, the style is simply amazing, and it totally overpowers you: I could not put it down. The character is pathetic and admirable at the same time, one has to love her for her suffering, however pointless it is.

The book is of course about love and seemingly love only, but it is more than that too. I believe it is about taking failure with dignity, about how exquisite the language can be, about how destiny is perhaps in the mind of the beholder. If the story is indeed about the author, do hope it is not a means of personal revenge. Heartbroken a writer may be, but not to the point of ridiculing the ex-object of love.

Whatever it is, the book has great precision about emotionally unavailable men and long-distance mostly-email-based relationships. Makes one wonder - don't we women ever grow up and become immune to hope? Can't we finally accept the "he's just not that into you" rule and take things for their face value only?

Perhaps the book is also about the fact that even when women do know the right from wrong, we still prefer to be fooled, just to experience the glimpse of love - however short-lived, it is precious nevertheless.

Thanks to Maia Press Limited for sending this book to The Bookbag.

For more great female fiction, see Pandora's Box by Giselle Green.

Buy At A Loss For Words by Diane Schoemperlen at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy At A Loss For Words by Diane Schoemperlen at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy At A Loss For Words by Diane Schoemperlen at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy At A Loss For Words by Diane Schoemperlen at Amazon.com.


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