Wednesday, March 27, 2013

March Secret Agent #29

TITLE: Remember Me
GENRE: Women's Fiction

Idaho is my father’s country. It will always speak of him. But underneath, it also whispers another story, one I am careful to never speak of, one I have often wished to forget.

Grief makes forgetting difficult.

Maclain, my husband, steadies me as we form a circle around the newly dug grave, the coffin closed and ready. Beneath my skin, my heart beats like that of a typist's fingers, furiously tapping. It pounds on my ribcage, beating out a message I struggle to understand.

The presiding Bishop bows his head. He speaks of eternal life, something I have never doubted until this very moment. I know my father is not in his body any longer, his spirit gone. But where is he? I look up at the sky. Is he here?

Maclain squeezes my hand at the final Amen. It is over. I have held it together so far, but suddenly feel the need to fling myself onto the dirt and throw a terrific tantrum. But the truth is, I am not a brave person.

Instead of body flinging, I clench my hands, step forward, and break inside.

My three children look up at me, pull on my skirt while my father’s favorite hymn, Be Still, My Soul, echoes on a violin my sister, Angie plays on the Cache Valley hills of Idaho. Our eyes meet. The sweet notes trigger a memory for both of us, brings him back. That boy I try to never think of, who may as well be dead, too.


  1. I find the writing to be lyrical, powerful and captivating. I like the muted emphasis on geography and how it can come alive with ane because of a person. Her husband, her three children and her dpearted father all serve to make her a very full and rounded MC right off the bat. I would definitely read on. The only caution I have is that when beginning with a funeral, the reader has neither invested in the MC or the deceased yet so a powerful moment is often stemrolled over just because of that. I think by even including a paragraph or two of her interaction with her father - either before or during the ceremony - can serve to avoid that lack of emotion or investment from the reader. But, very strong and sophisticated writing. I would want to turn the page and read on.

  2. I was intrigued by this passage, but have to agree that opening with a funeral poses a challenge, especially when adding references to a subplot. Reflective of the turmoil she was feeling while standing at the graveside of her father perhaps, but it left me wanting a little more clarification.

  3. I write and read women's fiction and I rather liked the beginning. I do agree that starting with a funeral could be hard, but in this instance, it's working for me, and it gives me a good grasp on the MC and her feelings. I'd definitely read more!

  4. I really like the opening paragraph, it got my interest and pulled me in, in just three sentences. Nicely done! The only thing that jumped out and distracted me was the phrase 'terrific tantrum.' For me that evokes an image of childish anger, rage. When otherwise the talk is of grief and holding it together, I was assuming that she was grieving her father, then this made me think otherwise, or not sure which to think.
    I like your writing :)

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  6. I'm drawn in by this. You've given me a good sense of your MC in so little time. She doesn't believe she's brave, but her actions indicate that she is. She has children at her feet, a husband by her side, and a father in the ground. This woman cares about family. I have an idea of who she is and what matters to her. I'd keep reading.

  7. I love the opening lines here, and the atmospheric setting you hint at throughout. But I found the tranisition into the "action" of the funeral wasn't quite smooth. I'd like to spend more time in the narrator's head and understand her emotions a little better so the actions of the funeral seem more grounded.

    But your prose is beautiful and this is a promising start.