The Scene ISBN: 9780995792937 published, copyright and written by Mark Lakeram.
The plot begins as two boyhood acquaintances become mutually engaged in exploratory sexual activity for the first time while meeting on the continent where both families are on vacation. From this initiation, the story follows the two as they return to London and become immersed in the activities of, and with members of this alternative culture. The tale continues in a somewhat baffling manner involving some feminine acquaintances along with the community’s members pursuing their individual desires with repetitive sexual encounters and/or endless conversation with respect to it. The story is told from differing individual’s point of view in often fragmentary pieces and frequently is a bit confusing as to the identity of the individual.
Conclusion: An erotic alternative culture fictional tale that, from this reviewer’s perspective, requires considerable editing to provide any meaningful story, or even acceptably consistently readable book.
2* At best; Erotic alternative culture novel; under developed characters; poorly defined goals.
ILLUMINATION ISBN: 9780998964829, published, copyright, and written by Skeila M. Sullivan.
In this second book in the F.O.K. series, Francis (Olar Kavanaugh) receives an official letter informing her that she no longer is part of the family and she has been removed from the family will. Her older brother Bernard and sisters Agatha and Edna were in charge, as always. Her younger sister Theresa from New York where she was living with her girlfriend Kelly, had extended her stay with Frances and claimed no knowledge of the action. However, she discovers that Theresa actually had participated in telephone calls with her sisters and not been truthful with her. Frances’s world begins to come apart. The feeling deepens further as she attempts to attend the family’s reunion where she is brutally rejected by both mother and father. The tale follows her reaction to this devastating abandonment by a family who had been her life until they not only refused to accept her new life style, but actually reacted quite viciously toward her and the choices she had made. The activity expands as members of her Buena Vista Irish Coffee club rally around her, new people enter the scene and the action advances to attempt to aid Frances to recover from these devastating actions.
Discussion: The story picks up where the first book ended, and Frances with her most unusual group of friends, continues to move through life in a rather confused manner with now the additional desperate need to adjust to the devastating loss of family. It appears that the mental change required is particularly difficult because Frances seems always to have been a sensitive and highly emotional individual that followed the family’s bidding. She had loved art and the piano. She was provided piano lessons but no art was allowed. And from a brutal confrontation with her father at the opening of a one person show of her paintings at a prestigious gallery, the reader discovers that even the education she had acquired was to move into her father’s business because apparently she could more adroitly handle parts of it that her father could not handle as well, if at all. This second book once more is well written with often amusing incidents but also containing scenes with a degree of actual pathos. Most of the characters are carried forward from book one and new ones of interest acquired. Frances’ self-noted Klutzy action seem to increase considerably, perhaps attempting to portray an increase in her mental disturbance/distraction, and again a number of ‘side issues’ only tangentially pertinent to the plot appear. It is suggested, although not required, that an individual anticipating reading this book, at least skim the first in the series for more thorough understanding of the underlying problems appearing here and in the rest of the anticipated series.
4* Interestingly presented second in series, with a suggestion.