- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 1652 KB
- Print Length: 80 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Twisted Knickers Publications; Second Edition edition (26 Nov. 2008)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B001RTTCTI
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,023,555 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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The Kissing Room Kindle Edition
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Gardner's protagonist Merle has been fortunate enough to experience the bliss of true love, to coexist with a soul lover, to feel that depth of emotion in her husband, Jon. When it's all ripped away from her, she falls into the escape of self mutilation. Her dirty little secret is that she allows herself to be payment for the debt her late husband owed. She resigns herself to a life of abuse and despair. She's not expecting it, but her savior is on the horizon in the form of a vagabond that wanders into the pub she has made a home. Is she ready to realize all that she deserves or is Jon's debt eternal?
Set primarily in an Irish pub, what is most intriguing about The Kissing Room is the lack of physical description of the setting, but the clarity with which the reader is able to absorb the surroundings. The setting is created through exploration of the camaraderie and fellowship felt in those that frequent the pub scene. It is interrupted with the darker side effects of alcohol and gambling.
I have the most difficult time reviewing Cheryl Anne Gardner's work because she's just too damned good. Her stories have the ability to move me to tears. Her words are penned so eloquently, that by the time I close the book, any attempt I make of writing something of my own reads like a child's book report. I flounder, procrastinate, type and delete because nothing I can come up with does justice to Gardner's writing. Her works demand an emotional response, causing the reader to observe the human condition honestly and in its rawest sense. An author that can create this much impact is a rarity, but Gardner has the ability to evoke such intense compassion that readers are left craving for more. One taste will create a lifelong fan of Cheryl Anne Gardner's work.
"The Kissing Room" is told in the engaging, first person voice of Merle, a woman whose short life has already seen too much tragedy, making her wizened and weary beyond her years. While the reader may not agree with her choices or even understand her reasons for making them, it is impossible not to sympathize with this character and want to see her prevail. The character of Lain was less clear to me, and I wasn't always sure I liked him, but that did not seem important; I was rooting for Merle, and if he made her happy, that was all that mattered.
The Irish pub setting of the story is unique and authentic, with both the language and the details bringing it to life. I could always see and feel the story happening as though I was a participant, rather than some disconnected voyeur. The only time I felt thrown out of the story was when the point-of-view shifted from Merle to Lain for a brief passage near the end. I understand why the author did this, but for me, it broke the spell. Fortunately, I was so caught up in wanting to know what would happen, I just ignored it and went on.
I think I've made the point that The Kissing Room is not exactly a "beach read" with its violence and macabre themes, but I don't mean to imply that you will not enjoy it. I read the book nearly straight through, and only stopped because of an unavoidable interruption. I was annoyed to have to pause the action going on in my head, and went back to it as soon as I could—I just had to see how it would end. When it is all said and done, Cheryl Anne Gardner's "The Kissing room" is a deeply touching love story; you just won't know it til it's over.
Cheryl Anne Gardner has a way with description, but even that doesn't account for the way the story immediately absorbs the (at least, this) reader. There's a vulnerable honesty in the writing that is a compelling combination of strength and weakness, and in just a few words, in a brief passage, Gardner can draw a complete and complex portrait of a place, a man, a history, or a love. It's hard, when reading The Kissing Room, to not feel one with the protagonist, Merle. It's less like reading about her and more like being her, Gardner's dive into her psyche is so complete.
2. It's dark, there is some very uncomfortable issues in this book. Yet it does add to the story, and is not there to shock the reader.
3. This is very much a love story.
This author has the rare talent to create a complete meaningful story in less than 100 pages. The story was so good, that once I completed it, I went out for the evening. When I came back the story was on my mind, so I read it a second time in one day. I was just stunned how good it was.