A Thoughtful Critique

Bountiful Woman

Bountiful Woman

Last week I had the good fortune to find a few free hours in my hectic schedule. I used them to have lunch with a writer friend and colleague who lives maybe 10 miles away from me. We chose a fabulous spot, one actually pretty much surrounded by the waters of Lake Michigan and a marina, rather empty this time of year as owners are putting their boats into storage for the coming winter.

But the day was a lovely autumn day. The food was fantastic and so were the Bloody Marys.

As for the conversation? Lengthy, thoughtful, stimulating, and writing oriented. She brought up my most recent releases, the novellas comprising Soul String Saga. And she raved about the whole series and what it meant to her as she read it. After listening to her enthusiasm, I commented that I wished more readers were finding this book. I carried the essence of its theme, plot and characters in my heart for more than twenty years.

Well, she blogged about her thoughts regarding Soul String. I’m humbled by her comparison and her feelings regarding this work. Somehow her words became more powerful once she put them in print. So with her permission, I share them with you. Perhaps, you might find this series interesting too.


by Anne Parent

Posted on October 27, 2013
Free to Fly

Free to Fly

I am a feminist. I read Betty Friedan’s Feminine Mystic and my life was forever changed. I’m also a romantic and a traditionalist. I know these seem at odds, but I learned that a woman is a product of her many desires. I love a happily ever after ending to a story, my love of romantic fiction. I love powerful women that I find in fiction and I especially love it when they come together.

In the early ‘80s I read Barbara Taylor Bradford’sWoman of Substance and discovered Emma Harte. I was enthralled with the entire Emma Harte saga. I can still see her struggles in building her empire. Emma Harte is symbolic of the feminist movement, but she was more about the costs for a powerful woman.

I have recently discovered another series that has reawakened my past, Casey Clifford’s Soul String Saga. B.J. Kelly spoke to me, as did Emma Harte. B.J. was of my generation, a woman of the ‘70s. Clifford reminded me of what life was like as we opened opportunities for women who came after us. She has so perfectly depicted the choices women were faced with and what they had to give up to step into a man’s world.

However, this is also the story of B.J.’s soul mate and the struggles each of them faced in finding their paths. Every woman should read this series of books to understand why she has the opportunities of today and what women before her endured.

This is the ultimate book of feminism. It is also the ultimate love story.

Feminism is a word that carries strong emotional baggage. Throughout the years it has evolved, sometimes for the good, but not always. For me, it’s about having choices, not having it all. What does it mean to you?

Serene Harbor

Serene Harbor

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12 Comments on “A Thoughtful Critique”

  1. Lovely tribute to your book series, Casey. What she says resonates with me – it’s that we have choices. That’s what feminism means to me as well. We don’t have to “do it all”, we just should be able to choose what we do.

  2. Hi Patti,

    And Brenna, caught between a very traditional family and her overachieving goals in non-traditional careers (at least at that time) creates her conflict which over the years she resolves with a blend that works for her. Along the way she fosters friendships that also go through change just like here.

  3. Virginia McCullough Says:

    Thanks for the post and for sharing Anne’s thoughts. I agree, and it’s always bothered me that so many people see a conflict between feminism and romance and relationships. Society in general doesn’t see a contradiction between male ambition and drive and the desire for family and love. A family man can be an independent, self-motivated professional, friend, supporter of equality–who would argue with that? Well, the same is true for women. The fact is, it’s always been true, even when women so often felt the need to hide their “secret” desires. I, too, like the Soul String series–and eagerly read each as it came out. Brenna embodies the time that many of us came of age and made our various choices. I hope the series finds an ever-widening audience.

  4. Hi Virginia,

    Thanks for your comments. As with most things, this series will find it’s way to readers, just as we trail blazers created the path for these next generations of women with so many choices.

  5. Unbelievable words for your book, Casey, and they are greatly deserved. Mathair always taught me that feminism doesn’t mean you have to throw away your vulnerability. Women’s ability to tap into their softer side and embrace it, makes us stronger. It’s those quirky juxtapositions in the feminine psyche that makes what feminism is to me.

  6. Casey and Anne, to me feminism was and is about being who we are regardless of the roles we are asked to play in our life. It’s the old song … I’m a woman … w o m a n … because we can earn the bacon, fry it in the pan and sizzles the pants off our male counterparts. We can be androgynous, and as the myth dictates … find our soul mate without losing our souls. Love you both for giving me this today 🙂 BTW soul mate is the theme of my next three posts. Great minds do indeed think alike !!

  7. Inion,

    I love your description of feminism and it so fits Brenna’s journey.

    I’ve missed blogging and hope to get back to it more often. Reading your comment reinforces that desire in me. Thank you! 🙂

  8. Florence,

    I hope Anne checks my blog to see your comments. She will enjoy them. And yes, I do believe great minds think alike. And as always, I love your interpretations of concepts. Thank you for stopping by and for sharing your thoughts. They so mirror Brenna’s thoughts and definitely Patsy.:-)

  9. Anne Parent Says:

    Thanks for sharing my blog. I loved reading the comments. As I have only begun to get my blog up and running again, I don’t have a wide audience yet. I’ve so loved reading the comments letting me know that people understood what I feel so strongly about, both feminism and the Soul Strings Saga.

  10. Anne,

    I especially am grateful you blogged, but from the comments, you’ve touched others with your observations. Have a great week! 🙂

  11. This was a wonderful post. It is good to get a thorough, outside-of-the-box critique of your work. This one is especially good in that it situates your writing in a broader social context. Excellent!

    I have the series, but am ashamed to say that I still haven’t gotten to them yet. When I do, I promise to put up a review in the the usual places.

  12. Lorna,

    No reason to apologize for not getting to reading books purchased and now on the TBR pile. My pile has gotten towering but life keeps intruding and reading time disappears.

    Have a great week and thanks for stopping by. 🙂

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