Great Reviews for OCEAN'S DAUGHTER on Barnes & Noble

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Wow, great reviews for OCEAN'S DAUGHTER on B&N !!
(Includes two 4**** and two five*****)
So thankful and delighted!

Posted April 22, 2014
Great book!
Loved the characters. Will read other books bythis author.

Posted March 17, 2014
Ocean's daughter

A good read. I found the "middle" dragged a little, but the ending was worth reading through to the end. An interesting storyline that makes me wonder if the author will pursue this further with another book...if so, i would most certainly read it!


Posted February 22, 2014
Good story

Writer did a good job in fleshing out her characters and story line. Liked the ending too.


Posted May 1, 2013
This novel was a great read. Made me cry, laugh and imagine myself on the island of Neona. Faith Anna's portrayal of her characters is vivid and indepth. She touches on the core of their thoughts and emotions. Overall, it is a well-written story, uplifting and with a surprising end. I'll certainly be looking out for this writer's next book!



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Wow, it's another four-star**** review!
My novel, OCEAN'S DAUGHTER, receives another great review.
I am humbled, excited and amazingly blessed!
Just made my day!!

Thanks so much y'all for your support in diverse ways :)

's review
Mar 19, 14

This was a different read for me. It took me a little while to get into it, but by the halfway point, I couldn't put it down. It had a lot of "life lessons" in it about: forgiveness, "letting go and letting God," appreciating the simple things in life as well as the important. I wish the ending had explained a little more, but other than that I really enjoyed this read. Especially loved the character development of Ina.

Lessons from Reality TV

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Lessons from Reality TV

Rachelle Gardner
Blogger: Rachelle Gardner

I’m often struck by the similarities between the competition reality shows on TV these days, and life in the publishing environment. The programs bring together hopefuls in an endeavor—baking, fashion, business, movie makeup, singing—and pit them against each other. Along the way, the competitors make friends, make enemies, learn more about their chosen endeavor, and learn about themselves.
The shows are not only fun, they’re full of insights. Here are a few things I’ve been thinking lately as I watch the new season of American Idol.

1. Some people are more talented than they know. Others are less talented than they think they are.

Some contestants come in with beautiful voices that are unpolished; some have hopeless voices but they’re trying really hard. Some have so much enthusiasm you can’t help but like them, and some are so dull that they could have the most accomplished voice in the world but no one would want to hear it. Some have a sense of entitlement (How could you NOT pick ME?) and others are beautifully humble, surprised that the judges would give them a smile and a kind word. In singing, as in writing, it’s difficult to know how good you are without outside, objective input. And the first time you receive it can be a shock—in either a positive or negative way.

2. The judges know more than you realize.

It’s surprising how much the judges can tell from such a small amount of information. You think—how could they possibly make a decision so quickly? They stop the singer after 16 bars; they take one small taste of the cake; barely a glance at the elaborate costume design—and pronounce their verdict. It’s just like when an experienced agent or editor forms an opinion about a written piece from the first page. You wonder how they can possibly have enough information to reach a conclusion, and it can feel a little harsh. But those who have spent years working in a field—learning, studying, honing their instincts—can quickly form an opinion that wouldn’t change even with much more information.

American Idol3. Raw talent is wonderful, but has no value until it is worked and nurtured and developed.

It becomes obvious very quickly on some of the shows, but can be more difficult to grasp when you’re a writer. After all, everyone who is literate can write. If you have the desire to write stories or articles or non-fiction books, it feels like you can just sit down at your computer and voila, your masterpiece! But like every single endeavor out there, it takes a lot of work to get to a point where you’re producing excellent work that’s worthy of people’s attention, time and money.

4. Everyone gets a shot — but not everyone will win.

Some Idol contestants get the “golden ticket” and a golden moment. Maybe my dreams will come true after all. Others receive a devastating dose of reality, when the hard truth hits their soft heart and they’re crushed. They’re receiving feedback whether it’s good or bad, whether it lives up to their loftiest hopes or dashes them to the ground. Does this sound familiar at all?

5. The competition is fierce.

One of my favorite moments on Idol a few years ago was when a contestant looked around and commented, “The talent here is ridiculous.” It’s true, and better to acknowledge it. Often our biggest worry isn’t our own performance but how it stacks up against our competitors. You have no control over them, you can only be the best YOU possible. So take it seriously, because your competition certainly is. Pay attention to the details of mastering your craft. Present yourself as a professional. There are a lot of talented writers out there, and you may be one of them. But brace yourself for the competition aspect of this business—because it’s never going to be all about you.

6. Just because you don’t win in this venue, at this time, doesn’t mean you won’t find success.

There are some fabulous singers that get cut from American Idol because, for whatever reason, they don’t fit the image of a pop star that these record labels feel they can sell. That’s fine—many of them will go on to fulfill their dreams in a venue more suited to their personality and talent. It’s the same with writers looking for agents and publishers. A “no” isn’t a global rejection, it just means, “Not here, not now.” You have to keep searching for your fit.

7. People’s dreams mean everything to them.

Whether it’s writing or baking or designing movie costumes or performing, all of us hold our dreams closely. A bit of encouragement feels like heaven; criticism or rejection can be devastating. Big dreams are one of the things that make life exciting and worthwhile. If you sometimes feel like your dream is so incredibly big and important that you can’t stand the thought of it not coming true, take heart: you are not alone.

What are some ways you’ve found the writer’s life to be like TV competition shows? What have you learned from watching them?

Ocean's Daughter is free on Smashwords!

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Hi all, to celebrate Christmas with y'all, Ocean's Daughter is free on Smashwords and 99c on Kindle. Please download, read and post your reviews. If you could spend the extra time to like my pages on Amazon and Smashwords, that would be fantastic! Here are the links to the book:

Thanks so much for the support! Merry Christmas and a blessed new year to you all!


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May your Christmas be merry and the new year 2014 be a blessed one for you!
Thank you so much for your support!


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Interview with Jhumpa Lahiri

October, 2013

Jhumpa LahiriInterpreter of MaladiesJhumpa Lahiri's wise and assured 1999 debut collection of stories, introduced a unique fictional universe of Bengali immigrants in America and illuminated their struggles with the demands of familial ties and duties, memory and assimilation. Since then, of course, our literary landscape has become even more colorful and varied, while Lahiri has continued to write some of the most poignant works of the Indian American experience, including The Namesake andUnaccustomed Earth. Now with her new novel, The Lowland, she delves even deeper into her own roots, both in Calcutta and Rhode Island, for a sweeping story of two brothers whose paths diverge after Udayan, the impetuous younger one, becomes drawn into the communist Naxalite uprising of the early 1970s. Interviewer Anderson Tepper spoke with Lahiri about her fascination with this radical period and the "long and arduous" voyage of writing. 

Goodreads: Did this novel begin with the idea of Calcutta and its violent history or with the family story of the two brothers? Or were the two strands entwined from the beginning? 

Jhumpa Lahiri: The idea of the novel began with my overhearing a description of something that had taken place in this particular neighborhood of Calcutta, which happened to be where my father was raised and I had spent a lot of time as a child. I learned that there was a family with two sons who had both been involved in the Naxalite movement [a Communist group started in Naxalbari, West Bengal, in 1967] as students and been killed by the paramilitary in the early '70s. So that was the seed of the book, and it incorporated both place and character and event in different ways. I chose then to work with it to suit my own needs. I thought it would be more interesting for the story to just have one of the brothers become involved politically, so I took what I knew—which wasn't a whole lot—and went from there.

GR: You've said before that you'd been intrigued by the Naxalite movement since childhood and had been mulling over writing about it for a long time.

JL: Yes, it was a fascinating and terrifying time for Calcutta, and I had grown up hearing people talking about this period. I was going to Calcutta with my family throughout the '70s and '80s, and we were there in 1972 and '73 when the embers were quite hot. I was just a little girl, five or six years old, but I was absorbing something even though I didn't really understand it. And it really wasn't until I started working on the book that I studied what had inspired the uprising in the first place, the greater historical context of post-independence India and communism in Bengal. It's very complex, and I don't dare to presume any authoritative knowledge on the subject. Historical events and situations can be inherently dramatic, but it's not the same drama that goes into the making of a story. So for the first time I had to incorporate the real, as it were—actual events, actual place, actual setting—along with the story and characters I was inventing.

GR: The novel's second section moves to the United States and Rhode Island, where Subhash, the older brother, ultimately settles. Goodreads member Kelly Huang asks why after setting so much of your work in the Boston area you decided to finally place this one in Rhode Island, where you grew up. 

JL: I felt ready to set the book in Rhode Island, I wanted to set it in Rhode Island, and I was kind of tired of setting books in Massachusetts. I think perhaps because all the things I gleaned about the Naxalite period happened when I was a child in Rhode Island, I was aware, dimly, of how foreign it felt, and that was something that I wanted to present in the book as well. Something can happen in a certain part of the world that seems not to be happening at all if you're far from it. It can be all-consuming and devastating and yet you're sealed off from it and there's very little information. It's almost as if it's not happening. And I wanted the characters to be experiencing that sensation as well.

GR: Is that kind of physical and emotional dislocation intrinsic to the idea of immigration?

JL: Well, it depends, right? Now I think information is more available, people can certainly share information more easily. If something like this were happening in Calcutta now, people here would have a keener sense of it. But I was raised during a time when it was letters and that was it. It contributed to the unrealness of it. Also, people didn't travel around as much back then. My parents would have get-togethers with other Bengali friends, and maybe one of them had recently come back from Calcutta and had some information, saying, "Oh, things are really bad." But still, I feel the freedom of booking a ticket and getting on an airplane and flying halfway across the world back then was just a bigger deal. People weren't as mobile in my memory. Now it has all changed.

GR: Let's talk more about your writing life and habits. Goodreads member Megan Connor asks, "What part of the writing process do you find most challenging?"

JL: I think each part is challenging in its own way, really. The beginning is mystifying. You don't have your compass yet, and you don't know which direction you're going in, so there's a lot of false starts, a lot of pages written in a sort of daydreamy state. There's also a sort of lovely freedom in that: You're finding things, you're grasping at them, you're sort of swimming around, and then slowly you start to drop anchor. Of course, once you've dropped anchor and stabilized, you're also stuck, too. Then there are the questions of commitment: Do I really care about these characters, am I really invested in what happens to them? Is this plot that I'm trying to construct feasible? With this book, as I said, I started with the scene where Udayan is killed, because that was the one detail of the whole thing that I knew. So I had a scene in my head. But I didn't know where in the book it would come—whether the book would begin with it, end with it, or lead up to it.

GR: Did you think this book's material was big enough for a novel from the start?

JL: I felt in my gut that there was no way this could be a short story. I mean, maybe it's somethingGarcía Márquez could've compressed into a great six-page story. But because it was such a foreign world to me—both known and unknown, intimate and beyond me—I needed room to explore. I wanted to try to understand, for myself, what happened and why.

GR: Goodreads member Andrew is curious what effect, if any, being awarded the 2000 Pulitzer Prize—after your very first book—had on you as a young writer.

JL: I really tried not to think about it; it didn't seem real to me at the time. It still seems somewhat surreal, but less so. I mean, I knew it was real, but inside it felt so early and in a way out of place. And for that reason I didn't know where it fit into my writing life, my ordinary life. But I was grateful at the same time, if only because I felt it did open up certain opportunities for me and helped me to have more readers around the world. On a practical level it also allowed me to devote my life to writing, and that's a very precious thing that doesn't happen to every writer, so I feel very lucky about that.

GR: It seems to me that your Pulitzer, along with Arundhati Roy's Booker Prize in 1997 and Kiran Desai's in 2006, signaled a more general shift and an openness to new voices, especially those connected to India.

JL: Well, I do think when I was starting out writing I felt very alone, in terms of where I was coming from. I had read Rushdie's work and some other writers of Indian origin writing in English. I had read the work of Bharati Mukherjee, who is a Bengali writer who has lived in America and whose stories were set in America. But I felt a little bit different because I was a writer of Indian descent but raised almost entirely in America and was coming at it from a different perspective. I remember when I was putting the stories together for my first book, Interpreter of Maladies, my publisher asked, "What's special about your book?" And I couldn't think of anything other than the fact that I was one of the only writers writing from that particular point of view, whereas since that book came out there are many other writers writing from this kind of view, whether Indian or South Asian or from other countries. So I do think in a way it was exciting, and maybe my getting the Pulitzer brought that forward in a way and put that on the radar of publishers. Maybe these awards did have a door-opening effect for other writers, other voices.

GR: Do you think your work is received, or interpreted, differently in India and the United States?

JL: With the caveat that I don't really like to think too much about how my work is received, I do think my work is perceived differently in India because I'm writing about the Indian diaspora. So for many Indian readers who have never left India it is a different world. Most of my work is set outside of India, or some sort of combination of India and America. I have characters born and raised in India, and then I have characters who have a much more complicated relationship to India, either fraught or estranged, whatever the case may be. But I think there's a sense, for which I'm very grateful, that my work has been portrayed as part of the American experience. It can certainly be read as American literature. I think in the beginning it wasn't—again this is why I try not to pay too much attention to how my work is perceived because it's not in my control. People can either think of The Namesake, for example, as a classic first-generation story or the story of an Indian family. It's a subtle distinction, but it is a distinction.

GR: You've mentioned the work of Bharati Mukherjee as being important to you at a certain time. Who are some of the other writers and books that have had an impact on you?

JL: There are so many, and they're always shifting. But with this book, I can say a big source of inspiration was Thomas Hardy, a writer I love and keep returning to. I read and reread a lot of his work while I was drafting this book. I've always really connected to him in terms of his vision, sense of place, psychological mastery, and understanding of tragedy, families, and social constraints. In a sense I was playing with some of the same ideas of constraints and tradition in this book.

GR: Tell me about your daily writing habits and routines. Have they changed over the years?

JL: My writing habits have always adapted to the reality of the moment. I started writing in my twenties when I was on my own and a graduate student. So I would write on the weekends or during vacations when my schoolwork was at an ebb. Then I received a fellowship to go to a writing colony in Provincetown, and for the first time I was given seven months to do nothing but write. I was able to devote a good portion of the day to writing and reading and thinking about whatever it was I was working on. Eventually I married and had kids, so by my mid-thirties I was a mother and had to balance my writing and family life. When the children started to grow up, I'd write when they were in school. And that's been pretty much the case until we left Brooklyn for Rome, where we've been living for the past year. In general I like to have a few hours a day to write when the house is quiet.

GR: What have you been reading lately?

JL: Since we've been in Rome, I've been steeping myself in Italian literature. I've been working my way slowly but carefully, in Italian, through lots of 20th-century Italian writers: CalvinoPasolini,PaveseNatalia GinzburgMoravia. It's been a fantastic and incredible experience for me as a reader—and a writer, I hope.

GR: Now that The Lowland is out, I'm curious what you make of the whole public aspect of writing and publishing—the reviews and obligatory interviews and book tours.

JL: This is really the hardest part for me, I think. It's difficult for me to be aware of the noise any book creates upon its publication. My writing comes from a very private place—I don't think I'm unique in that sense—and it is a strange contradiction to take something that is so inherently private, a sort of dialogue with oneself over a period of years and years in silence, and then to suddenly be...not silent about it. I mean, the amount of hours, the energy, dreaming, pondering, writing, editing, and rewriting that goes into a book—it feels like an ocean of time and effort. And the voyage is bad; it's long and arduous. So it's hard to be on the other shore and try to encapsulate what that voyage was like. I feel altered by it and shaped by it, but it's hard to explain in a nutshell what it was like to have done it.

GR: Well, I think you've done a wonderful job. Thank you, Jhumpa.

Interview by Anderson Tepper for Goodreads. Anderson is on the staff of Vanity Fair and has written on books and authors for a variety of publications, includingThe New York Times Book ReviewTin HouseWords Without Borders, and The Paris Review Daily. He is also on advisory committees for both the Brooklyn Book Festival's international stage and PEN World Voices, where he has moderated conversations with the authors Nuruddin FarahBen OkriRian Malan, and José Eduardo Agualusa, among others.



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Ocean's Daughter recently received it's first review on Amazon and Goodreads.
It was rated 4 ****

Here's the review:

This is such a heartbreaking, yet beautiful story! It is a unique, unassuming glimpse into island life pre-colonization. The characters are truly inspiring!

Time to get your copy of OCEAN'S DAUGHTER for your summer read!!!