Engaging Novels – Page Turners

Garwood took a Russian history course and became intrigued by history, choosing to pursue a double major in history and nursing. A professor, impressed by the quality of her essays, convinced Garwood to take a year off of school to write. The result was a children’s book, What’s a Girl to Do?, and her first historical novel, Gentle Warrior.


My wife recently purchased one of Garwood’s novels, “Heartbreaker” (at bottom of cover it says “A crackling good thriller – New York Post.”) I opened it at random and came upon a scene with someone hiding in a tub while the read beam of a sniper’s laser sight zigged back and forth on the wall. My wife chose the book because, opening it at random, she too sensed it is a “page turner.” I asked her if it were “Chick Lit” (literature for women [chicks]” and then Googled to see what genre they attribute to her. Julie Garwood was one of six girls (and one brother.) She did not learn to read until the age of 11 due to a sickly nature which commenced after a tonsillectomy around age 7. I suppose a successful novelist must gear each page with a mind to the random shopper who seeks a page-turner. One wonders if such a market condition hampers deeper creativity with profounder levels of religious or philosophical meaning.

I had a very sickly infancy which prompted a tonsillectomy when I was around 7 (they were quite in fashion in the 1950s.) I do remember a middle aged woman in the 1980s having such surgery because of constant infections. I did not learn to read until I was around age 8 and that was from the instruction of a home-bound teacher. I remember being so excited when I could read my first words. I watched small children in the 1990s learn how to read at a very early age because of things like Sesame Street.


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