Tag Archives: fiction

‘Frankenstein’ TWSM Book Review

‘Frankenstein’ by Mary Shelley

For this book review, I chose a science fiction novel with themes of ambition, revenge, family, and dangerous knowledge — that was written over 200 years ago, Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. Even if you don’t like “old” books I recommend that you give it a try. It is amazing how relatable Frankenstein is, and there are even free versions of the e-book that you can download — bonus!

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (who was the daughter of Mary Wollstonecraft the feminist philosopher and writer) is probably best known for writing Frankenstein. It is one of the earliest examples of science fiction and is a fascinating tale of human nature written by a woman whose own life was no stranger to both tragedy and scandal. The novel bears little resemblance to the many Frankenstein movies that came after it, yet it foreshadows many themes in science fiction works to come.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from Frankenstein:

“None but those who have experienced them can conceive of the enticements of science.” (Chapter 4)

“Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.” (Chapter 23) “Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful.” (Chapter 20)

One of the most fascinating pieces of this novel is how the monster represents “the other” in society. Whether it be differences due to physical or mental disability, culture, or social class, Frankenstein’s monster is a perfect example of someone who is ostracized because he does not fit in. How he is treated by his contemporaries is a timeless story, and there are moments when the monster seems even more human than his creator, Dr. Frankenstein.

If I have one complaint to share about Frankenstein, it is that some of the prose is a bit formal, and therefore it can be difficult to read if you are used to twenty-first century English. However, that can also be part of the charm of reading a book with so much history to it. All things considered, it is an amazingly fresh read for a two hundred year old book about bringing a lifeless body back to life!

Rating 4 stars out of 5

Originally published anonymously in 1818 

Now part of the public domain 

Liz is a technical writer by day and a humor writer by night. She lives in Minnesota with her younger daughter and their cats, Beau and Phoebe. When Liz is not reading, writing, or searching for new books to review, she can be found practicing yoga or enjoying time with friends and family. She is savoring the time that she has left before her younger daughter flies from the nest, yet she is also secretly looking forward to a time when she can travel more and not worry about anyone borrowing her socks.

The Greatest Love Story of All Time…

Good Lord…I haven’t blogged for you guys in forever, so today I thought I would remedy that.  From time to time I will dabble at writing fiction and so I thought we would restart our blogging relationship with a bedtime story for you…a story for all of you romantics at heart…I think I used to be one of those people before life got in the way…here’s to the romantics in all of us…enjoy…

The Greatest Love Story of All Time

 

…The little girl said, “Mama tell me the greatest love story of all time…”  And the Mother brushed the hair from her child’s forehead and looked into her expectant eyes, took a deep breath and began…

 

She had a beautiful spirit and the smile in her eyes could leave you weak in the knees, you could feel her before she entered the room and her energy was contagious, she was generous, intelligent and kind…she was strong where others were weak, forgiving where others were hard-hearted and had the generosity of Spirit that only comes from understanding the real meaning of life…

He was sexy, handsome and fierce, chivalrous and kind, strong beyond measure, witty, smart and charming with an engaging sense of humor…he was the kind of man you would want your daughter to marry, the kind of man every woman wants to have…

You knew when you looked at him that he really understood things and that he would protect you and keep you safe …you knew when you stood near him and breathed into him that if he loved you; your life would never be the same…

He was both sweet and hard and to drink him in was like enjoying a very fine wine…to touch him and feed his passion was like spinning into something that had no words…

So many things had come before this, so many concessions made, so much craziness and then years of near solitude…

Ever since her father left her she had pretty much made the choice that she would never be with a man that she really, really loved because it seemed that life had taught her early on if you loved someone beyond reason they would leave you…and so she had carefully constructed a life with many fine people that she loved,  however there was always that place that they could never get to and they were never smart enough to know it even existed…she found that most people don’t care to look very deeply and in a world like that even her reserved form of loving showed up as something to treasure.  Her father came back after 25 years to right old wrongs and after a couple of years that allowed her to see that loving beyond reason and without conditions was, perhaps, possible…

Her heart had been smashed, stomped on, broken into bits…her ego periodically destroyed…she knew enough now to understand what really loving someone meant, love is an endless act of forgiveness and real love is a growing up.

He, perhaps had never quite found what he was looking for…to her,  he seemed strong, savvy and fierce,  yet somewhat sad and lonely underneath …it seemed that he had been unappreciated, unseen at a soul level and that he had suffered some from that.

A man suffers more than he knows when he isn’t loved properly…he becomes somewhat hard-hearted and uncharacteristically cynical…outside things can look so very perfect, yet sometimes somewhere deep in the heart and soul of him something is missing…

She sensed that he had some broken dreams that were difficult to get over…she wished that she could love him enough to make all the bad things disappear…yet she was smart enough to know he had to banish the demons on his own, perhaps using her love as a grounding place to become stronger for the fight.

She knew that true, pure love could restore anything…the trouble these days is that people don’t love pure and true and their stupidity destroys love’s power.

Her response to him was strong, quick and pure, it was without history and reason …it just was…

Meeting him caused her to re-think each aspect of her life and she saw that in some ways parts of her had nearly faded from neglect…it was so masked that she never even noticed until she met him…but he noticed, he saw it

He saw things about her that she couldn’t even see, until she looked through him and that was when she saw the empty places…the ones she thought didn’t matter anymore…

She didn’t need him to ‘complete’ her—she wanted him to ‘compliment’ her and she him…she felt that those were the things that lasted forever, the ones where you made each other better people by being together.

At this point the little girl interrupted her Mother and said, “Mama is that true, that people can make each other better by being together?”

Her Mother answered, “Yes, little one that is true…when soul mates come together they make each other shine, they help each other to find their best parts and everyone around them benefits from this.”

After she met him everything she thought changed…she woke up missing him and thought of him throughout the day…he was so far away yet he was inside of her as if he had always been there…it seemed that he belonged there…

At first she questioned her sanity…then over the days and weeks that passed she realized that perhaps her unspoken prayer had been answered…perhaps life could be completely altered in just one single moment…she was willing for that…

The Mother paused at this point and the little girl said, “Mama what’s wrong, why have you stopped?”

 And her Mother said, “The greatest love story of all time is a work in progress my love, these two people have had some Divine Intervention and now the rest is up to them…they have to be willing and they have to trust…”

 “But Mama I need to know what happens…I need to know the end of the story.”

 Her Mother answered, “Little One the greatest love story of all time will never have an end, it is a timeless story recreated by lovers’ everyday.  It is a promise and a prayer and it is ageless and timeless…and someday you will write your own chapter.”

 The little girl sighed and smiled at her Mother, “What about them Mama, the people in this story…what happens to them, how do we know if they will be alright?”

 “He will go to her, it will take him awhile to get there, but he will go and then they will write their own chapters together…”

 “Mama, I want them to be happy, I want them to believe…”

Her Mother replied, “Then every night before you go to sleep, say a prayer for them…say a prayer that will become timeless, a prayer for lovers everywhere…pray that they have faith, that they are strong enough to face their fears and pray that they believe in the magic of God’s Grace…”

And the little girl looked at her Mother and knelt down and prayed and when she was done she knew in her heart that the lovers had heard her…