Monday, December 1, 2014

Book Review - Love, Regret and Accidental Nudity


Love, Regret and Accidental Nudity: My True Stories, Unusual Circumstances, Unpredictable Outcomes

By: Mariana Williams
Publisher: Sunset Squid Publishing
ISBN: 978-1496153579
Published: March 2014
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford
Review Date: November 29, 2014

Mariana Williams pens her definition of ‘wince-worthy’ prose in her latest non-fiction body of work, Love, Regret and Accidental Nudity.

Ms. Williams’ story opens with her reflection of her childhood; specifically when she was twelve. Even then, she had a clear vision she was destined for the stage some day. How fortunate for her the dream would be a reality sooner than anticipated when a production of The Miracle Worker was planned to open in West Hollywood. The director was in need of some acting students to balance a few small scenes. Familiar with Helen Keller’s meeting of Annie Sullivan, Ms. Williams was convinced her big Hollywood break had arrived. Sadly, while she and her fellow extras thought they were doing a smashing job, it was Williams who was singled out during the mandatory actor’s meeting and told: ‘...you can’t be in the show if you can’t act like a normal blind kid...’ Like the seasoned actress she envisioned she would be some day, Ms. Williams swallowed her pride and stored her acting debut memory - fast forward to today and the memory has found its place as her opening chapter. Thereafter, she takes the reader on a journey of recounting the ebb and flow of her eclectic life experiences across the next 138 pages.

Ms. Williams’ witty banter throughout delivers edgy humor that even manages to surface in the chapter devoted to the passing of her beloved father—tasteful, but slanted humor just the same. She conjures memories of early motherhood and how she appeases her children by buying a bunny for each; only to arrive at a place where her backyard has turned into a rabbit kingdom because of their prolific nature. She shares insights and first-hand knowledge toward the importance of due diligence before electing ‘budget’ plastic surgery and shares the results of her decision.

I found Love, Regret and Accidental Nudity to be an extremely quick and easy read. I applaud Ms. Williams for her solid grasp of believable dialogue and each of her vignettes has a beginning, middle, and end, but I never found continuity from chapter-to-chapter. There was no build up or lead in tying one chapter to the next. Rather, there are a series of stand-alone moments in the life and times of Ms. Williams. In my opinion, regardless of whether a book is autobiographical or a work of fiction, it is the writer’s duty and responsibility to play out the premise with the unseen thread that sews all the contents together. However, I did enjoy the somewhat overarching theme of Ms. Williams’ many comedic ‘life’s moments.’

Quill says: Love, Regret and Accidental Nudity is the perfect book for a few hours of ‘downtime’ when you’re in the mood for some heartfelt laughter.

For more information on Love, Regret and Accidental Nudity, please visit the author's website at: www.marianawilliams.net