Annotaré's Reviews > Mad Mischief: A Novel

Mad Mischief by Susan St. John
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it was amazing
bookshelves: author-requests-review, fiction
Recommended to Annotaré by: author requested review
Recommended for: writers, general readers
Read 2 times. Last read August 19, 2018.

In the Prologue we meet Sarah and Peter and the ruddy-faced safari guide, Max Enfield, soaking wet from an Atlanta rainstorm, but to Sarah “dripping with charm.”

Susan St. John’s beautiful and imaginative use of words flow page-by-page immersing readers into her intriguing story with a steady pace moving us through the African culture: its beautiful dangers, and patchwork history where the story of Max, Sarah and Peter unfolds.

In chapter 1, the story leaps ahead and we find Sarah has extended her journey to spend time away from her overbearing husband only to be engulfed by an overbearing safari guide. I don’t like this character. Her timorous nature, I find offensive. There are times I want to shake an ounce of confidence into her especially when Max publicly chides her—again—for writing in her journal: “Stop writing! Put away that damn journal…Participate, for Christ’s sake.” And demurely she obeys, her anger and humiliation resolved silently and secretly by “placing it at her feet…grinds it with her heel into the cold floor.” To illicit such strong emotion from your reader—and I’m incensed—is excellent writing.

Beginning with chapter 2, each chapter is preceded with the on-going saga of Sarah rescuing Max. Then flashbacks to how they both end up in the terrifying Nyayo House—the government building housing the offices of immigration and customs.” Unusual formatting that reads well keeping readers turning the pages.

Mad Mischief is a work of fiction, but one wonders when the author writes in her dedication: “To my dearest friend, Genya Soovajian, and my brother David P. O’Malley…that each made a trip many years ago that in all likelihood saved my life.”

Real or fiction, this novel is worthy of your money and time. Won’t be disappointed in discovering an amazing writer whose grasp of language will lure you—totally—into her story.
And if you are a writer, this is an excellent study in Show don’t Tell and use of descriptive verbs.
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Reading Progress

August 12, 2018 – Shelved
August 17, 2018 – Started Reading
August 19, 2018 – Started Reading
August 19, 2018 – Shelved as: author-requests-review
August 19, 2018 – Shelved as: fiction
August 19, 2018 –
August 19, 2018 – Finished Reading
August 19, 2018 – Finished Reading

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