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Black River
Four starred reviews for this debut that will turn readers' hearts inside out.
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What did you think of the author's writing style? Were you surprised that the author was female?

Created: 01/08/16

Replies: 18

Posted Jan. 08, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1318

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What did you think of the author's writing style? Were you surprised that the author was female?

What did you think of the author's writing style? Were you surprised that the author was female, or would it have surprised you if the author had been male?


Posted Jan. 11, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
mal

Join Date: 09/09/13

Posts: 155

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RE: What did you think of the author's writing style? Were you surprised that the author was female?

I loved her writing and YES I was surprised she was a female. She did an excellent job tapping into the mind and emotions of the males. Very well done.


Posted Jan. 11, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jeannewny

Join Date: 01/10/16

Posts: 20

RE: What did you think of the author's writing style? Were you surprised that the author was female?

I thought she did a great job telling the story. The characters really came to life. I really didn't give a thought to the author being male or female.


Posted Jan. 11, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
bobbie7

Join Date: 09/19/13

Posts: 49

RE: What did you think of the author's writing style? Were you surprised that the author was female?

I was very surprised to find out the author was a woman. The subject and writing style are very masculine. Using initials seems to be a way of presenting the author as neutral. Do authors think that if they are female they are less worthy/readable?


Posted Jan. 11, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ABeman

Join Date: 01/14/15

Posts: 20

RE: What did you think of the author's writing style? Were you surprised that the author was female?

She did an outstanding job of voicing Wes. She not only nailed the voice of the opposite gender, but also successfully wrote in the voice of a 60-year-old. This doesn't surprise me so much as impress me. I kept thinking about how Arthur Golden wrote in the voice of a Japanese woman in Memoirs of a Geisha. Good writers listen well to those around them and they tap into universal language.


Posted Jan. 12, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
caroler

Join Date: 01/12/16

Posts: 7

RE: What did you think of the author's writing style? Were you surprised that the author was female?

I loved her writing style. It wasn't just being able to give a masculine voice, it was the voice she gave to Black River and Montana. This is my second reading and it was just as impressive as the first time. I will have to read a third time to take the time to notate passages I want to remember for my book club. Note: one advantage of a Kindle is being able to bookmark, I still can't bring myself to mark a book.


Posted Jan. 13, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
nancyd

Join Date: 07/18/13

Posts: 8

RE: What did you think of the author's writing style? Were you surprised that the author was female?

I was very impressed with the author's writing style. I thought she did an excellent job of mirroring the characters and the physical setting with her prose style-spare and succinct. I did not feel one way or the other about her being female. To me a good writer is able to present all of her characters convincingly and she certainly did that.


Posted Jan. 13, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jww

Join Date: 05/31/11

Posts: 128

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The Western Voice

Kent Haruf has been a favorite author for many years. His death made be very sad. He spoke with a Western Voice - open, honest, spare. S M Hulse has this same voice. She captures the spirit of the place as well as the people in that place. I can't wait for her next story!


Posted Jan. 13, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
bethb

Join Date: 04/08/13

Posts: 20

RE: What did you think of the author's writing style? Were you surprised that the author was female?

I applaud the author's skill. Not only did she flesh out the characters but she created place/setting as a character as well. References to the mountains and river provide a framework for the weaving of the plot. (Actually gender of the author never entered my mind.)


Posted Jan. 14, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
tracyd

Join Date: 05/31/15

Posts: 30

RE: What did you think of the author's writing style? Were you surprised that the author was female?

I knew she was female before I started but I was surprised that at how beautiful the writing was. I read she was carrying the banner for Kent Haruf and I agree.


Posted Jan. 14, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
flute4u

Join Date: 08/14/13

Posts: 23

RE: What did you think of the author's writing style? Were you surprised that the author was female?

I thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated the author's writing style. She captured the voice and spirit of the men that dominated this story, but she also gave a textured rendering of the violin and the essence of a musician's relationship to their instrument. Her reflections on Wes' love of the voice his violin could speak for him echoes what I have attempted and observed as a passionate concert goer for many years.


Posted Jan. 17, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
pennyp

Join Date: 03/22/12

Posts: 271

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RE: What did you think of the author's writing style? Were you surprised that the author was female?

It did not register that she was a female until I was half way through the book. She did a wonderful job getting inside the heads of men. On the other hand she did a great job with women and older people. I think she's a very interesting author and I hope to follow her career


Posted Jan. 17, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Mary J

Join Date: 04/26/15

Posts: 37

RE: What did you think of the author's writing style? Were you surprised that the author was female?

I knew Hulse was female before reading Black River, but never thought it made a difference. I loved her way of telling Wesley's story and also her descriptions of Montana, Black River, the environment around a correctional facility, as well as the thoughts of all the characters. She wrote as an accomplished author, neither male nor female.
Many authors write under pseudonyms to hide their sex. Nelle Harper Lee wrote as Harper Lee, Joanne Rowling has written as J. K. Rowling and also Robert Galbraith. Dean Koontz writes many styles of books under several pseudonyms, such as Deanna Dwyer and Leigh Nichols.


Posted Jan. 17, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Barbara H

Join Date: 04/21/15

Posts: 6

RE: What did you think of the author's writing style? Were you surprised that the author was female?

I think I knew the author was female before I started reading the book. However, the writing was excellent throughout and it wasn't until I was reflecting on the book after I was finished, that I concluded she had superbly described a number of male points of view. I would be interested in hearing from male readers to know if they felt her characterizations were accurate.


Posted Jan. 18, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
cm28015

Join Date: 11/01/15

Posts: 26

RE: What did you think of the author's writing style? Were you surprised that the author was female?

It occurred to me that this novel would appeal to men, as some do more than others, with the main characters and story line. I looked at the author's bio, but not thinking too much that she was a woman, but noting that she wrote about what she knows - horses, fiddling and the west, which gives her writing depth and passion. Her writing gives insight amd voice into non verbal individuals and how quickly we are to judge them without knowledge of why they might be that way. I agree with ABerman that good writers listen to those around them and have that gift to hear as a good painter has the gift to see or a good musician to play beyond what some of us hear.


Posted Jan. 18, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
bethb

Join Date: 04/08/13

Posts: 20

RE: What did you think of the author's writing style? Were you surprised that the author was female?

I have only high praise for the author. Her ability enables the reader to be transported to the setting and truly know her characters. Attention to detail is another of her strengths, e.g. Rio's eye and the contrast between Wes and Arthur.


Posted Feb. 01, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
scottishrose

Join Date: 07/24/11

Posts: 38

RE: What did you think of the author's writing style? Were you surprised that the author was female?

I loved the author's writing style and how it drew me into the book. I didn't want to put it down because I wanted to know what the characters were going to do next. I did know the author was female, but didn't really think about it as I read the book.


Posted Feb. 05, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
sandral

Join Date: 04/09/11

Posts: 10

RE: What did you think of the author's writing style? Were you surprised that the author was female?

I loved her writing style and think she was amazing in her grasp of the inner workings of Wes' mind.


Posted Feb. 05, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
JLPen77

Join Date: 02/05/16

Posts: 130

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RE: What did you think of the author's writing style? Were you surprised that the author was female?

Momentarily, when I first starting reading and noticed her picture on the book flap, I was surprised, and more so to see how young she appeared, given how authentic seemed the narrative voice of a taciturn, buttoned-up grieving man, in just the opening pages. (Although I'm not a man, Wes seemed very much like one I know well.) But great writers, male or female, can put themselves imaginatively into another 'self." That, to me, is a measure of what makes a writer great. And I think S.M. Hulse is a great writer. She captured a sense of place and a cast of real characters, including Claire. Most important, and more surprising, to me, is the emotional depth here, given her obvious youth.


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