Monday, July 8, 2013

Fist Look - Persephone's Orchard by Molly Ringle.

Accomplished author and dear friend Molly Ringle - a lady who I am proud to know through our mutual association with Central Avenue Publishing - has returned with her landmark new novel Persephone's Orchard, a thrilling re-imagining of the Greek legend of Persephone and Hades. 

The guff on the book is thus;

The Greek gods never actually existed. Did they? Sophie Darrow finds she was wrong about that assumption when she's pulled into the spirit realm, complete with an Underworld, on her first day at college. Adrian, the mysterious young man who brought her there, simply wants her to taste a pomegranate. 

Soon, though she returns to her regular life, her mind begins exploding with dreams and memories of ancient times; of a love between two Greeks named Persephone and Hades. But lethal danger has always surrounded the immortals, and now that she's tainted with the Underworld's magic, that danger is drawing closer to Sophie.

In exploring the rich body of Greek mythology in order to bring her ambitious project to life, Molly Ringle has stepped out of her comfort zone to craft a thrilling story that combines elements of that classic mythology, action and adventure and romance that is grounded in the present day Pacific North-West that Ringle portrays with great affection.

I was privileged to be able to act as a beta reader for Persephone's Orchard and as a result had the pleasure of reading the first full draft of the novel during it's development. My contribution focused mainly on the nuances of Adrian's character, his speech and background in New Zealand but I was immediately taken by the grandeur of the story which opens up through an unassuming beginning. The world which Molly Ringle creates is vivid and large and it quiet a delight to spend time in. 

Molly Ringle herself, explains the roots of the story and how she expanded on those to go in a different direction with the legend.

“The ancient myths usually tend to agree that Hades kidnapped Persephone, completely against her will, traumatizing her and breaking her mother Demeter’s heart,” says Ringle. “But ever since I was a teenager I wanted to see a version where Persephone loved Hades, and he loved her too. But in rewriting the myth that way, it became clear that if Hades wasn't the villain in the triangle, someone else would have to be—or nearly so.”

With an already significant buzz being generated around Persephone's Orchard, Molly Ringle can be assured of yet another runaway success to her already considerable stable of works. 

Ringle is the author of several novels including the award winning The Ghost Downstairs, Relatively Honest, and What Scotland Taught Me. She is best known for winning the Bulwer-Lytton Prize in 2010, which is a tongue-in-cheek contest sponsored by San Jose State University. Entrants are invited to compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels – that is, deliberately bad. The contest is named for English novelist Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, author of the much-quoted first line, “It was a dark and stormy night.”

Persephone's Orchard is available now.

Purchase Persephone's Orchard here.

Connect with Molly Ringle here.

Tweet with Molly Ringle here.


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