Kendall and Half the Moon by Otilia Tena

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Post April 18, 2013, 01:58:55 PM

Kendall and Half the Moon by Otilia Tena

This story had some strong romantic elements which I found interesting and compelling. I think one of the strengths of the story is the character of the narrator; she seems to be well developed and believable. She is a teacher and her romantic interactions with her students touches on the taboo. I was drawn through the story by my interest in her and what happens to her.

There were, however, some awkward word choices and constructions in this story. I'm assuming based on the author's bio that English may be a second language.

Here are a couple simple examples:

"…though he never forgot to bring a smile on my face."

"At last I went out of the room and there he was, smiling to me behind the glass panel door."

"How come you know all the things?"

This awkwardness doesn't make the story impossible to understand, but as a reader it makes me a little uneasy. I wonder whether I'm understanding the story the way the author intended it.

A more critical problem and one that could be easily corrected was in the scene where the character Kendall is introduced. He isn't named in this scene but is introduced as Evan's brother. However, when I first read this part I didn't know who the narrator was referring to. I thought that Angela was referring to Evan when she "Miss Gwenda, you look mesmerized! Isn't he beautiful?" That threw me off, so I was really confused when the next scene began with "The first morning after making love to Kendall…" I think just using Kendall's name in the scene when he's introduced would help to clarify who the "he" in the scene is. Or the author could just rely on a reader like me to read more carefully.

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Post May 08, 2013, 06:58:24 PM

Re: Kendall and Half the Moon by Otilia Tena

I take it that there is a translation problem here, but there's more than that. I couldn't make sense of this thing at all. I had the impression that I was reading a partial manuscript; that a lot of the text was missing; maybe every second paragraph, maybe more than that.

Perhaps the author thought that the audience would read between the lines and deduce what wasn't written. Maybe there's some kind of cultural thing going on, like jokes told in a foreign language. Everything seemed disconnected, though, and I didn't get it.
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