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Tuesday Morning Post: My Thoughts on ‘Chimera’ by Stephie Walls

Chimera: [ki-meer-uh, kahy~]  synonyms: dreams, fantasy or delusion

  1. <in Greek mythology> a fire-breathing female monster with a lion’s head, a goat’s body and a serpent’s tail.
  2. any similarly grotesque monster having disparate parts, especially as depicted in decorative art.
  3. a horrible or unreal creature of the imagination; a vain or idle fancy: He is far different from the chimera your fears have made of him.

I read a very intriguing book a couple of weeks ago and to be honest with you, I needed to contemplate the book and the characters that Stephie Walls created in Chimera. I think I’m finally ready have to tell you about this compelling novel that twists and turns throughout and moves the reader through to the end of this magnificent piece of literature. If I were to categorize this book, I would consider it literary fiction. I feel that both a male and female audience would read this book in the same manner, as Ms. Walls created characters who were real and not overly fantasized. This book was raw, painful to read at times and yet, so very addictive. Chimera is one of the most haunting, most realistic, most beautiful pieces of literature I’ve had the pleasure of reading in a very long time. This isn’t a book in which you can read while watching tv or having any other disruptive shenanigans (😀) going on around you. Chimera takes all of your attention, and trust me, it is given freely simply for the ability to read the next page.

Stephie didn’t shy away from allowing the reader to feel all of the feels of the characters. This group of characters so honestly depict love, loss, unrequited love — the kind that can break our heart any more than any break-up ever could. There’s commitment, horrifying anger, shock, disillusion, denial. Truly all the feels!! The heartache, the heartbreak that heart that makes us who we are. Ms. Walls masterfully weaves the feels into all of the characters, there is no one lacking. In life, there are people who are inherently evil, inherently kind, inherently needy, inherently have a hero complex or are inherently mentally unable to walk away from someone, physically unable to give up on another person, regardless of how it affects your own life.

Chimera gives the reader of an insight into the life of an artist. It’s a wonderful glimpse into the world of visual artists such as photographers, graphic artists, painters. She truly shows how artist’s lives are so very different from people in other professions. She shows that instead of working an 8 to 5:30 job, an artist will sometimes work for 2 days without sleep, only taking breaks to eat (or sometimes not even that), gather more materials and then once they are at a point in which they feel as if they can stop, they will finally rest. An artist is truly never “off”. While a person who has a more traditional job can (sometimes) leave their work at work for the next day, an artist is always ‘on,’ never knowing when inspiration will strike.

Chimera-ecover

Chimera Synopsis:

I couldn’t be anything other than a romantic at heart — it’s my nature, it’s who I am. But this isn’t a typical story of traditional love. It isn’t a fairy tale. No happily ever after neatly tied up with a shiny bow. It’s a memoir of the reality left behind in the wake of grief — the desolation, the resurrection, and final culmination life offers to the fallen. 

This is a journey through love…the love of self, love of a friend, and sometimes love is ugly, messy —destructive.

My name is Bastian Thames…and this is my story.

 

“You were not the author of her life. You weren’t even the editor. You were simply a reader.”

Whoa. I read and re-read this over and again, allowing it to truly melt into my psyche and realize how true this is not only in this wonderful novel, but life in general. That is the true ‘magic’ of this novel. There are so many life lessons that the reader can glean without even realizing it. After I allowed this sentence to become a truth into my life, I read it to my husband, who, while enjoying literature in his own way (😜), but more than anything, he enjoys the happiness reading and writing bring to me! After I read it, I looked to get his reaction. I was shocked to see his face completely devoid of emotion as he stared at me for a long moment. Truthfully, I didn’t know how he would react. Whether he would give me the patented ‘Darling Husband [DH] smile and nod ~ yes,wow, that’s an interesting sentence, Kel’ or whether it would have the same impact on him that it did on me. I waited with bated breath as he simply sat for a moment and then leaned forward, placing his hand on my knee, closing his eyes and asking me to read it again and then once more. He sat back and then repeated it to himself a time or two and then completely validated the awe and wonder I felt when I read it. It’s such an important message — that we are readers of people’s lives and it is only with their permission may we edit their story.We can’t interfere ~ regardless of how much we may want to in order to shield them from something they can’t see in their future that is evident to those around them and instead we must simply sit back and read the story of their life. It’s difficult and painful and maddening and in the end — a fruitless endeavor.

I’m not going to lie to tell you that you are going to giggle out loud or laugh hysterically on every page. Nor will I tell you that you’ll feel pain on every page. I will tell you that there is no way that you can read this book and not be touched in one way or another — that you won’t glean something from it. This novel is too important for it to be just another ‘notch’ in your literary belt.

I really don’t want to give any spoilers, because I want to give you the same opportunity to discover the characters and their lives just as the author intended for her you to discover them. I will tell you that there are pages where you want to simply throw the book across the room because of how the characters act (although I wouldn’t recommend this if you’re reading it on your e-reader) 😂, trust me though, there are also other times in the book in which you will want to hug it close and never-ever-ever let it go! This novel is real; it is messy. It’s just like life in that way. This novel reaches the highest of highs and then wades deep into the murkiness and also into the depth of despair.

What I will give away about this story is two-fold. First, there are no flat characters. That’s for all of the students of literature out there. Stephie Walls characters are very well-rounded. It would be very easy for any of her characters to have their own story. Second, you will fall in love. There are so many characters to choose from. They’re all flawed, beautiful, loving, wonderful. Personally, I fell in love with almost all of them. I laughed with them, I cheered for them, I cringed for and with them, I hoped for and with them, I growled angrily at them, I cried with and for them. These characters were so very real. And that is what a good book should do. It should cause us — the reader — to love the characters or loathe them as much as the author who created them wanted us to feel.

Ms. Walls truly took me on a journey from the beginning of the book through to the end. Through all of the twists and turns Chimera led me on, I drank in every word, sometimes over and over until I was truly drunk on them. She has given us a spectacular gift in  Chimera and it is a gift that while at times you may not want to accept, in fact, you may want to instead throw the gift back into her face, gritting your teeth in anger and dismay, this is the type of gift that digs its way into heart and remains there.

Thank you, Ms. Walls, for the amazing gift you’ve given us in Chimera.

Buy Links:

Amazon US: http://goo.gl/0XHrfA  

Amazon CA: https://goo.gl/LVn4wZ   

Amazon UK: http://goo.gl/ttPqI3  

Amazon AU: https://goo.gl/GNHzCr

Check out below to get more information on Stephie Wells, how to get in touch with her, and of course, how to get your hands on this fabulous book!!

 

Stephie Walls Bio:

Stephie is a thirty-seven year old mother of one to the most adorable eight-year-old girl to ever walk.  They live on the outskirts of Greenville, South Carolina where they house two cats (Annie and Gus) and a dog, Piper. 

She has a serious addiction to anything Coach and would live on Starbucks if she could get away with it. She’s slightly enamored with Charlie Hunnam and Sons of Anarchy and is a self-proclaimed foodie.  An avid reader who averages around three hundred novels a year and wishes she had time to read more.

She currently works full-time in the Greenville area and fill her “extra” time (haha) with reading anything she can get her hands on and writing contemporary romance novels with a hint of erotica.

Contact Links:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/stephiewalls2014

Twitter: @stephiewalls

IG: @stephiewalls

Author:

Happily married, aspiring writer that thinks sometimes the destination is worth the journey. Sometimes the journey is worth the destination. Then again, sometimes the journey is just HARD and the destination isn't worth the time it took to get there. Sometimes the journey is EASY and the destination STILL isn't worth it! The only constant is that there is always a journey and always a destination. I would LOVE for you to follow me on my journey and together we can find the destination. So, come on, we have to keep on keeping on!

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