Monday, November 10, 2014

new world order

The End, The New Beginning 
- Jo-Anne B. Foster

This self-published first novel by Calgary writer Jo-Anne B. Foster is an imaginative and somewhat sprawling tale of optimism and industry. In it, the protagonist (who is later renamed Angel by her new-found tribe) is saved from certain death following the destruction of the entire nation, by a friend who whisks her away at the penultimate moment to an undersea bomb shelter. It is during the three years that the two spend in this ocean floor sanctuary that Angel learns the life skills needed to rebuild a life for herself in a new country, among new compatriots. 

Most of the story unfolds after the pair re-emerge from the ocean, when Angel is taken in by a large family of wealthy and multi-talented entrepreneurs. It is under their care that she builds friendships, a hotel and a reputation as a sharp shooter with the Seals Special Forces tactical team. 

As she also does in her second novel One Thousand, Foster effortlessly creates a world in The End, The New Beginning where she allows her fertile imagination to play with things and ideas that obviously intrigue her. She has a knack for creating feisty women with a penchant for 1940's sensibilities, ballgowns and Blue Martinis.

Foster's growth as a writer is evident in the greater sophistication and tighter writing that she displays by her second novel. However, despite its looser structure and focus, The End, the New Beginning tells a ripping good tale. Given Foster's relative inexperience as a writer, this is no small feat.

The End, the New Beginning is a brave first foray into fiction by a writer who has worlds yet to reveal.

I should mention that Jo-Anne Foster is also a talented visual artist, who will be having her first art show on Saturday November 22, 1-4pm, at East Village's Golden Age Club. If you are in the Calgary area and want to check out some of the sassy female faces that Foster paints (and also prints onto tee shirts and buttons) do stop by. 


John Mutford said...

You know my bad luck with self-published books and typos, so I'm now a little hesitant to give them a chance. How was the book on that front?

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Thankfully, Foster knows how to spell, John. There did seem to be some odd spacing issues with the printing, though.

John Mutford said...

Ha, yes, the last self-published book I read did have a lot of mistakes that seemed attributed to the author's spelling abilities, but even the bset of us make typos here and there. And without the luxury of a publisher's editing services, I think it's understandable that some slip through (not that the professionals don't miss the occasional one). But it's nice to hear that Foster seems to have taken more care than most!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I was shocked to find a typo in the new Margaret Atwood book, John, and at juncture in which the name/spelling of the word was being discussed. Very off-putting.

John Mutford said...

Charlotte Gray's "Gold Diggers" published by HarperCollins, was shockingly full of typos.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Thanks for the warning, John. I will steer clear.