Compulsive Overreader

Along with borderline hypergraffia, my other literary disorder is -- I'm a compulsive overreader. I'd like to say that I'm trying to get it under control, but I'm clearly not. Check out the archives here to find what I'm reading and what I think of it. If you came here directly through blogger --if your page has no yellow frames and no pretty pic of me in the top left corner -- you may want to visit my main site at, where you can read this blog and much much more.


I'm Trudy Morgan-Cole, a writer from St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada. My books include "The Violent Friendship of Esther Johnson," "Esther: A Story of Courage," and "Deborah and Barak." I'm also a married mom of two, a teacher in an adult-ed program, and a Christian of the Seventh-day Adventist kind. I blog about writing, reading, parenting, teaching, spirituality, and shiny things that catch my eye.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

An Audience of Chairs, by Joan Clark

(This is the third time I've written this review because Blogger consumed the last two. I hope I'm getting more concise and pithy each time).

Joan Clark is a writer for whom I have great admiration, not just professionally but personally as she has always been most encouraging and gracious to me as a younger writer. So I awaited her latest novel, An Audience of Chairs, with much anticipation, and I was not disappointed.

An Audience of Chairs tells the story of Moranna, a Cape Breton woman who loses everything that matters in her life because of her mental illness. Moranna is a survivor, though, and makes her way back to a life she can live on her own terms -- even if those terms don't always make sense to others.

Joan Clark vividly draws us in to Moranna's inner world -- we can see how Moranna's choices and actions make perfect sense within her reality -- while at the same time giving us the bigger picture so we can see how frustrating and incomprehensible those actions are to the people around Moranna: her brother, her husband, her children. This is not only a beautifully written novel, but a penetrating fictional treatment of mental illness. Moranna is a haunting and engaging character who stayed with me long after I put the book down.

An Audience of Chairs won the Newfoundland Book Award for fiction. It richly deserved the award and I hope this novel wins many more prizes, as well as winning the hearts of many mroe readers.


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