When writing a book review I usually begin with a brief description of what the story’s about. That is impossible with Of My Own Hand’s Weaving by Mary Boscoletta because the book is a confusing mess strait out of the gate.
You’re unsure of everything from the beginning. You don’t know if Jeannie–usually called Gina–doesn’t want to be seen with her paramour because a) she’s cheating on her actual boyfriend Nigel, b) Col is a rebound relationship from Nigel, or c) that she’s simply uncertain of her feelings. It’s unclear if Jeannie’s landlord introduced her to Col to get her over her breakup, is using Jeannie to get Col for herself, or as a means to have Jeannie do her bidding. These plot points and more are presented without any clarity whatsoever, making it impossible to grasp what’s happening.
The writing is horrendous. It jerks around like a drunken monkey in every sentence. The logic was impossible to follow and it felt more like a rambling monologue. Characters are just as confusing and ridiculous. Jeannie flits between being a ‘modern woman’, a penitent sinner with frequent lapses, and an abandoned child sexually abused by a neighbor for food with her Aunt’s consent–Boscoletta never really confirms the latter. Col alternates between being a sweet, innocent Sicilian who loves Jeannie and wants to set her free from her past to a domineering control freak who expects to be obeyed instantly and without question. At the alleged ‘climax’ he actually places his hands around her throat and threatens to kill her. Having complicated characters is one thing, but giving them Jackal & Hyde personalities in an already chaotic plot is simply a disaster.
Half way through the plot goes from incredibly confusing to confusingly bizarre. Col’s family has apparently cursed him and Jeannie’s proximity has placed her in danger. But instead of Jeannie rescuing Col and becoming a better person through the ordeal the curse seems to transfer to her with her infidelity being the focus. Then the curse is forgotten and Jeannie’s wayward ways are solved when Col makes her drink a potion that turns her into the agreeable, obedient wife that he wants.
Even when I dislike a book I try to find something good to say, but this one has nothing. Confusing writing, warped characters, and a senseless, bizarre plot make this a book that I’ll never read again. Poor writing can cause a good story to fall, but Of My Own Hand’s Weaving simply crafted a bloody mess.