My Mom is definitely not into fantasy or science fiction, and even less into horror. I think growing up that I was an anomaly. She would look at me sitting in front of the Exorcist or Pet Semetary, shake her head, and go back to whatever she was doing. She especially doesn’t like gore. Which makes it all the more impressive and indicative of motherly love that she read my novel which not shy on violence or gristle.
Watching her over the years, I think she likes true stories, or fiction but in the real world, stories in which people give you a glimpse of something they overcame in life, remarkable circumstances they survived. In that way, we are similar in that respect. I like stories about events in people’s lives that defined them, that they overcame, or survived. The difference is that I have enough of real life. I like to read about made up people with monsters.
I don’t know very many indie writers in this more realistic genre. But two books I can think of that I imagine she has either read and liked or would like to read: The Red Tent, and The Kite Runner.
The Red Tent was a retelling of a Biblical story from a virtually unknown character: Dinah, daughter of Jacob, sister to Joseph. The most remarkable thing about her in the Bible was that she was raped by an Egyptian prince and this sparked revenge by her brothers. But in this version, she gave a vivid picture of the role of prominent women in the Bible from their perspective and how they navigated what were harrowing politics of the time. Rather than relegating her to the role of victim, this story makes her strong, a midwife who provides a backbone to a culture that subsequently forgets about her.
The Kite Runner, I know less about, since I haven’t read it yet, though I hear it is very good. I understand that the author is from Afghanistan and the story is set there, in the context of making normal lives out of a city plagued by war. This is a book I intend to read.
She likes stories that show people’s humanity in different ways. Which goes to show that no matter what genre, good stories involve learning to understand each other. Happy Mothers Day!
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