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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. Author of FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND THE SECULAR STATE (2012), HUMANITY ENHANCED (2014), and THE MYSTERY OF MORAL AUTHORITY (2016).

Monday, March 19, 2012

"Trust and Tribulation"

I've started reading "Trust and Tribulation" the Regency serial that Alison Goodman has been writing over the past couple of months to help promote an upcoming Jane Austen literary festival in Canberra. Alison is also providing notes on her storytelling techniques, and she will judge a competition based on the story: it has ten completed chapters so far, and competition entrants are asked to provide their versions of the eleventh and final chapter.

I'm not very far advanced in the narrative at this stage. In the first chapter we are introduced to Anthea Stanwell, her mother, and her sister Lily - there is already some romantic intrigue being set up here, as the plot jumps quickly out of the blocks. Alison's second chapter lures us more deeply into the murky romantic possibilities for Anthea, with some nice, sharp exchanges among the characters. Already, I'm hanging out to meet Anthea's potential love interests, most of whom are lingering off-stage but have been characterised strikingly by others, who may or not be being fair to them. We shall see.

Alison really is a wonderful writer, with a crystal clear style, a knack for vivid, economic scenes, and superb sense of pacing. This little story is really not such a serious exercise for her, but it still hooks the reader. Let's find out what happens as it continues ...

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