Monday, June 21, 2010

How Did She Get There? Book Review

Friday, June 25,2010, author's assistant Vonnie Faroqui will interview Ann Karen Dowd about her recently released novella, How Did She Get There?

Ann Karen Dowd, author, poet, public speaker, and teacher takes the reader on a journey into disquieting realms of thought, challenging preconceptions of womanhood, desire, love, and transformation.

What does the author have to say about the unlikely heroine of her new book and about the passion which fuels her writing?
“Unlike so many female characters in fiction, Caro is neither pure victim nor villain. Rather, she is a woman whose capacity for transgression is countered only by her capacity for transformation.”

“For me as a writer, it’s the fissures and splits, the broken, undefined images that ignite my imagination . . . but it’s not only the search, in filling the gap . . . it’s the excavation of the narratives, deep within the fissures and chiasms of our sub-conscious that are already there and most people never unearth.”
Here is Vonnie's review.

Book Title: How Did She Get There?
Author: Ann Karen Dowd
ISBN: 978-0-615-33530-8
Publisher: White Ink Press 2010
Link to purchase: Amazon/How Did She Get There?
Reviewer Byline: Vonnie Faroqui for WITS

How Did She Get There? is what I almost want to call a modern day cautionary tale. The heroine however does not turn anyone into a golden statue out of greed; or laze all day in the sun, thinking the world owes her a living while others labor. She is as human and self absorbed as we come, with all the classic confused notions found in a folk tale character. The author, Ann Karen Dowd, has certainly written a story that leads her heroine and the reader through a maze of challenges; attitudes to be overcome, confused perceptions about right and wrong, pitfalls of human nature, even exploring the motivational fears and desires which often hide beneath well meaning intentions.

The story’s thread takes its heroine, poet Caro Barrone, to the very edge of reason, when she becomes obsessed with Livia, a thirteen-year old poet prodigy. How Did She Get There? looks at Caro’s inner turmoil as she struggles to rediscover a sense of identity and deal with the decaying pieces of her changing life; motherhood, the empty nest, fears of growing old, expectations, abandonment, and misdirected desires. She is not the typical heroine and this is not the typical feel-good tale. Instead the author has dug deeply into the places we fear to look, excavating aspects of a woman’s inner experience in ways and situations that are far too near our hearts for comfort. Ann does this with such compassion and understanding that she manages to guide us to the far side of the hedges healthier than we were before entering the labyrinth.

This is a deeply provocative read that will challenge as well as please the reader on many levels. The book offers a well-developed story line and believable characters that feel like people you know and care about. The poetry is exquisite. Ann has, with skill and grace, allowed the reader to travel the winding path of one woman’s second coming of age from beginning to end and turned Caro’s story into one of triumph.

Learn more about the author and her up-coming book tour from her website at or by following her on , and at

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