Title: Conversations For Two
Author: Jacqueline Markowitz
Published: October 22nd, 2015
Conversations For Two is Jacqueline Markowitz debut novel from the newly established printing press, The Jam Press.
The Jam Press was launched during the summer of this year. It aims to support and publish novels written by authors that are unsuited for the characteristics of a “normal” book genre. Ranging from contemporary, fiction, poetry and memoirs, The Jam Press has quite a bit to offer.
In this somewhat autobiographical novel, author Jacqueline Markowitz writes about a sister-Jackie, who finds a box of letters left by her brother after his heartbreaking death. This box contains numerous artifacts left by her brother-John, such as letter, poems, and thoughts about his outlook on life.
“Memory generates memory. Grief slumbers. There are membranes of regrettable sorrows. And, there is that catch-breath of love.”
In this well written novel the reader discovers the aftermath of a life that ends too soon, and the impact it can have on the family members (in this case Jackie), who have to pick up the pieces.
Who was my favourite character and why?
Personally, I found the format of this novel to be quite perplexing as a reader. The novel starts out from the point of view of the sister Jackie, and how she has been left to clean up the mess after John’s death. This portion of the novel was well written and laid out. However, after Jackie discovers the box of John’s artifacts, it became difficult to distinguish between the artifacts found in John’s box, and Jackie’s point of view on what she had discovered as John’s sister.
For that reason, I would have to say I do not have a favourite character.
Were the characters relatable and/or believable?
Despite the confusion between characters points of view, I have to admit that Conversations For Two was an exceptional debut novel. Jacqueline Markowitz was able to incorporate a tremendous amount of detail that allowed the reader to conjure a precise image of the finer details in the novel.
Did the story keep you on the edge of your seat?
This novel explores the memories, flashbacks, and stories of John’s life with the help of the artifacts found in the box that was given to Jackie. This helps by giving Jackie the closure she desires after the heartbreaking death of her brother. This novel was an interesting perspective into another person’s life, with a unexpected ending that most readers will not see coming.
Something I would change about the novel?
Truthfully, I found it difficult to distinguish between the over abundance of characters in Conversations For Two. Not only were there a large number of characters, but I found that most characters lacked character descriptions. This made it even more complex when trying to distinguish one character from another. I also found that this novel seemed to start in the middle- similar to in media res, however unlike a mystery novel it did not back track to explain the plot, the characters, or the order in which the novel should be laid out.
That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed Jacqueline Markowitz’s weightless writing style, and would be curious to see what she plans to write next.
In my opinion, this novel had a complicated plot due to the inability to distinguish between characters. However, Jacqueline Markowitz’s writing style was eloquent, with suitable details.
Overall, I would give this novel 2.75 out of 5 tea mugs.
Be sure to check out The Jam Press website for more information on future publications.
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Until next time,