Yesterday, the mystery photo was hosted by my very good friend and published author, T.B. Markinson, as sort of a lead in to my post today. You see, the mystery photo was actually the joint between the foot and the leg of a marionette, the actual marionette that was used for the cover of her second book called, you guessed it, Marionette, which has now been officially released. I am so excited about it (and proud of TBM) that I wanted to share my review with you. So, here it is:
I have noticed lately that the literary market seems to be flooded with more books than ever before, and oftentimes the book you pick up to read today seems very similar to the book you read last week. Then along comes a story that is refreshing and unique, that captures your attention from the first sentence and doesn’t let you out of its grasp until the last page is turned. Even then the characters still roam around in your mind as you slowly process a climax that is like a bucket of cold water thrown over your head, shocking yet eye opening. After the shock wears off, you find yourself rooting for the characters to find happiness and move on with their lives. Such is the case with Marionette by T.B. Markinson.
Paige Alexander should be happy. She has finally left home to attend college and has a girlfriend who cares about her deeply, but the effects of growing up in a deeply dysfunctional family – under the influence of a rich and controlling father and an evil and crazy mother – have left her damaged, so much so that the opening chapter is a rant at herself for failing at suicide. Paige has been controlled her whole life like a puppet on a string. Her true self and her dreams have been continually squashed, and she desperately wants to reclaim herself, but with everything she knows about her family and the futileness she feels in her situation, she attempts suicide as a way to successfully gain control of her life because in death she would be free. Paige is always trying to hide, to disappear. She hides her suicide attempt from her family because she’s afraid they will lock her up, she hides the fact that she is gay from her college roommates, and there are even things that she has hidden from her girlfriend, who is the only person that she can truly be herself with. However, she is not the only one who has been hiding things, and as one truth after another is revealed, Paige realizes that she needs to break free from her past. After years being controlled by others, can Paige find a way to cut the strings and live her life on her own terms?
Marionette has the most captivating opening that I have ever read in a book. My interest was piqued from the first sentence, and I knew right away that Paige was going to be a fascinating character. What appealed to me right off the bat was her sarcastic humour. Paige is an amazing and complex character who has been deeply hurt and is being eaten up inside by guilt, and she often uses her sarcasm to build up a shield around herself because she has no desire to let people into her life. She is trapped in a past full of painful memories and considers herself broken, beyond repair. However, to me she was stronger than she gave herself credit for, and I quickly became engrossed in her life, wanting to see if she would get the help she needed and find the peace and happiness that she so obviously deserved. And Paige is only one of a varied cast of characters, each believable and interesting in his or her own way, and a great contrast to each other.
What made the greatest impression on me as I read Marionette was that it is truly the whole package. There’s a little bit of everything – secrets and mystery, suspense, power and corruption, humour, gay/lesbian issues, abuse and psychological issues, and romance, and they all meld together perfectly to create a wonderful journey of discovery and healing. Markinson’s skills as a writer impress me more and more with each novel she writes. She is like an artist who paints a picture with words so that you can actually visualize the scene you are reading, and while doing so she also draws out every emotion for the reader to experience along the way.
I could go on and on about Marionette for hours, but suffice it to say there were surprises around every corner which made it impossible to put down. I highly recommend it.
Paige Alexander is seventeen and has her whole life in front of her. One day her girlfriend comes home to discover that Paige has slit her wrists. Paige isn’t insane, but she acts like she is. Why?
After the incident, Paige agrees to go to therapy to appease her girlfriend, Jess. However, Paige doesn’t believe that therapy will help her. She believes she’s beyond help. Paige doesn’t want to find herself and she doesn’t want to relive her painful past in order to come to terms with it. What Paige wants is control over her life, which she hasn’t had since her birth.
During her childhood, Paige is blamed for a family tragedy, when in fact, her twin sister, Abbie was responsible. Abbie doesn’t come forward and Paige becomes the pariah of the family.
To add to Paige’s woes while attending a college in a small town in Colorado, the residents are in the midst of debating whether or not gays and lesbians should have equal rights. Tension is high and there’s a threat of violence. She isn’t out of the closet and pretends to be straight at school since she fears what will happen if her parents find out she’s a lesbian. Will she end up dead like her best friend, Alex?
About the Author:
T. B. Markinson is a 39-year old American writer, living in England, who pledged she would publish before she was 35. Better late than never. When she isn’t writing, she’s traveling around the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in England, or taking the dog for a walk. Not necessarily in that order. Marionette is her second novel. A Woman Lost was her debut novel.
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