Shadow Dancer by Louise Meriwether

I found Shadow Dancer by Louise Meriwether on my bookshelf. I must have bought it when I lived in Ohio because there is a sticker on it that says Half Price Books. I read the cover and decided to open it up. This quote from Lucille Clifton made it clear that I needed to read this book:

“Come celebrate with me

That everyday something has tried

To kill me and has failed.”

Then, as if Meriwether hadn’t already trapped me, the protagonist, Glenda, is in the hospital and doesn’t know how she got there. Well, of course I have to find out why her partner Mark tells her she was in an accident and it was his fault.

For the first time in a long time I read a book and enjoyed it while also really paying attention to the choices the author made. For example, the flashbacks to how Glenda and Mark started dating, the flashbacks to Glenda’s childhood that suggested why she was so insecure, and the decision to have Glenda and Mark get close and then throw a monkey wrench in it every time I thought I could breathe a sigh of relief and watch Glenda and Mark sail into the sunset helped me think about tension. If only I would add that kind of tension to my own writing. I just read an article in Writer’s Digest about parenting your characters. I have to stop doing that if I ever hope to write a story someone will find interesting.