Official Review: A Mentor and Her Muse by Susan Sage

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any fiction books or series that do not fit into one of the other categories. If the fiction book fits into one the other categories, please use that category instead.
Forum rules
While in the forum's younger and less active days this used to be the one and only forum for "reviews and discussions about specific books", this is now just the subforum "other fiction" in a more well-organized "reviews and discussions about specific books" section with subforums for each genre. Check it out! :) Remember, the forums in the reviews section (including this forum) are for posting about a single book or series in topic, and the topic title should include the book's title. If you are creating a new topic, please try to post it in one of the other genres rather than posting it here in the "other fiction" section. This is only for books that do not fit in any of the other genre categories we have listed.
Post Reply
User avatar
Cecilia_L
Posts: 1330
Joined: 08 Jun 2018, 22:16
Currently Reading: William and Tibby Forever
Bookshelf Size: 113
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cecilia-l.html
Latest Review: Love, Time Is Gone by Joseph Bartley Haltom III

Official Review: A Mentor and Her Muse by Susan Sage

Post by Cecilia_L » 07 Nov 2018, 16:19

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "A Mentor and Her Muse" by Susan Sage.]
Book Cover
4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review


"I wouldn't classify what I did as a crime, rather as sort of a vigilante justice. Some, I'm sure, will believe I should serve a prison sentence for what I did, while others will conclude that I was both her mentor and her friend." A Mentor and Her Muse by Susan Sage

With one of the best beginnings I've read in a long time and depending on the point of view, this moral quandary persisted throughout the book. Needless to say, I was hooked.

Fifty-year-old Maggie Barnett is working in the media department of the school library when she meets talented Taezha Riverton. Frustrated by her own writing career, Maggie is determined to mentor Tae, an aspiring teenage writer. In addition to mentor and muse, they develop a friendship. Concerned about Tae's life at home with a mother that drinks too much and whose current boyfriend has started making advances toward Tae, Maggie decides to take her on a road trip for the summer. Tae's mother first seems agreeable to the idea, but when she begins to express doubts, Maggie and Tae leave Michigan anyway without explicit permission. They make several extended stops along the way as they travel to North Carolina to visit Tae's Uncle Tyler. As the story unfolds, Maggie's family background and history of loss provide clues to her obsessive attachment to Tae, whose suspicions about her own family are confirmed. Social issues such as prejudice, poverty, sexuality, and racial tension are addressed as seen through the eyes of both Maggie and Tae.

Sage has really mastered page-turning tension--I found this well-written novel hard to put down. The story alternates between the third-person perspectives of Maggie and Tae, with the occasional journal entry or poem written in the first-person narrative. Considering their age difference, the varying perspectives, and vocabularies, the dialogues are realistic and engaging. They each have a definitive voice, and it is apparent who is speaking.

Typically, I connect with complex characters that I can somehow relate to, even if I don't necessarily agree with their actions. However, it requires an exceptionally skilled author to create a character that gets under my skin in a such a disturbing way as Maggie. At the beginning of the story, I was drawn in, wanting to give her the benefit of the doubt. As the plot progressed, it became evident that Maggie was deceiving herself; yet her motives were often a mystery. Was she inappropriately attracted to her 15-year-old muse, Taezha, or simply living vicariously through her? Tae was equally well-developed in a more endearing manner, evoking my protective nature as a parent. Though I was alarmed by Maggie's obsessive attachment, she did possess redeeming qualities, and ultimately her actions helped Tae.

On the other hand, with such a promising beginning, the plot lost momentum along the way, and I found the ending slightly underwhelming. Even so, overall, I found the book worthy of a 4 out of 4 stars rating. It appears to be professionally edited, as I noted only a few errors. Due to profanity and sexual content, it is intended for mature readers. I recommend the book to readers who enjoy psychological dramas that challenge social norms. If you tend to view issues with a black and white approach, this may not be the book for you

******
A Mentor and Her Muse
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon

Like Cecilia_L's review? Post a comment saying so!

User avatar
kandscreeley
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 6097
Joined: 31 Dec 2016, 20:31
2018 Reading Goal: 115
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 83
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 94
Currently Reading: End of the Last Great Kingdom
Bookshelf Size: 224
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kandscreeley.html
Latest Review: It's Just a Matter of Balance by Kevin S. Garrison

Post by kandscreeley » 08 Nov 2018, 08:54

Interesting. Maggie sounds like the kind of character you love to hate. I'm curious to see what kind of "vigilante justice" is carried out and how everything turns out. You've intrigued me with your review, and that's hard to do. Thanks!
“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
― Ernest Hemingway

User avatar
Cecilia_L
Posts: 1330
Joined: 08 Jun 2018, 22:16
Currently Reading: William and Tibby Forever
Bookshelf Size: 113
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cecilia-l.html
Latest Review: Love, Time Is Gone by Joseph Bartley Haltom III

Post by Cecilia_L » 08 Nov 2018, 09:34

kandscreeley wrote:
08 Nov 2018, 08:54
Interesting. Maggie sounds like the kind of character you love to hate. I'm curious to see what kind of "vigilante justice" is carried out and how everything turns out. You've intrigued me with your review, and that's hard to do. Thanks!
Thank you. I appreciate your comment.

User avatar
cpru68
Posts: 655
Joined: 14 Feb 2018, 19:21
2018 Reading Goal: 24
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 191
Favorite Book: More Heavens Than One
Currently Reading: You Have Such a Pretty Face
Bookshelf Size: 73
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cpru68.html
Latest Review: 7 Steps to Unlock Your Secret Power by Alan David Nkoy
Reading Device: B00HCNHDN0

Post by cpru68 » 08 Nov 2018, 11:42

This book sounds inviting to me right now. I have been focusing so much on non-fiction, and I am finding myself searching for something to read that isn't necessarily based on a true life story. This one sounds intriguing from what you wrote here, and I think I am due for a psychological drama like what you described here. Thanks for the insight on this one. :)
Everything happens for a reason...

User avatar
Cecilia_L
Posts: 1330
Joined: 08 Jun 2018, 22:16
Currently Reading: William and Tibby Forever
Bookshelf Size: 113
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cecilia-l.html
Latest Review: Love, Time Is Gone by Joseph Bartley Haltom III

Post by Cecilia_L » 08 Nov 2018, 12:25

cpru68 wrote:
08 Nov 2018, 11:42
This book sounds inviting to me right now. I have been focusing so much on non-fiction, and I am finding myself searching for something to read that isn't necessarily based on a true life story. This one sounds intriguing from what you wrote here, and I think I am due for a psychological drama like what you described here. Thanks for the insight on this one. :)
I'm the same way--I enjoy alternating genres. Thanks for your comment.

User avatar
sonya01
Posts: 224
Joined: 22 Aug 2018, 01:30
Favorite Book: McDowell
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 81
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-sonya01.html
Latest Review: It's Hard to Be a Vampire by Viktoria Faust

Post by sonya01 » 09 Nov 2018, 06:34

Done! Added to my bookshelves, as this is right up my street. Thanks for this wonderful review. I cannot wait to get started on this one.

User avatar
Cecilia_L
Posts: 1330
Joined: 08 Jun 2018, 22:16
Currently Reading: William and Tibby Forever
Bookshelf Size: 113
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cecilia-l.html
Latest Review: Love, Time Is Gone by Joseph Bartley Haltom III

Post by Cecilia_L » 09 Nov 2018, 08:52

sonya01 wrote:
09 Nov 2018, 06:34
Done! Added to my bookshelves, as this is right up my street. Thanks for this wonderful review. I cannot wait to get started on this one.
Thanks, Sonya. Hope you enjoy it!

User avatar
kfwilson6
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 1937
Joined: 14 Feb 2018, 15:30
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 94
Currently Reading: The Invisible Realm
Bookshelf Size: 291
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kfwilson6.html
Latest Review: Let's Get Sandy at the Beach by Grampa Farkas
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by kfwilson6 » 09 Nov 2018, 15:27

Everything after the introduction was quite different than what I was anticipating. I was expecting some crime thriller. That just sparked my interest even more to see how that beginning line into play. Way to grab your reader's interest!

User avatar
Cecilia_L
Posts: 1330
Joined: 08 Jun 2018, 22:16
Currently Reading: William and Tibby Forever
Bookshelf Size: 113
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cecilia-l.html
Latest Review: Love, Time Is Gone by Joseph Bartley Haltom III

Post by Cecilia_L » 09 Nov 2018, 15:57

kfwilson6 wrote:
09 Nov 2018, 15:27
Everything after the introduction was quite different than what I was anticipating. I was expecting some crime thriller. That just sparked my interest even more to see how that beginning line into play. Way to grab your reader's interest!
Thank you. I appreciate your comment.

Post Reply

Return to “Other Fiction Forum”