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I was born in Chicago on a sunny day in September, one month premature according to my mother. I emerged in the dark wee hours of the morning and four days later I was welcomed into an Irish/Polish Catholic family. I must have slept through it; I don’t remember much of it. I was the fourth child, and in time there would be four more, years before I left home and hometown to go out in the world on my own.
My two earliest memories are: 1) lying on the floor, looking at an enormous pair of feet in front of me, and 2) Piano playing. My parents played; my mother’s parents played; my aunts and uncles played. I cannot recall many days when someone wasn’t playing the piano in our house. So, having a love of piano music, I eventually sat down one day and learned to play…the guitar.
I loved reading at an early age. It stimulated my imagination, and this inspired me to write.
Writing gives me purpose in life. It’s like looking in a mirror. “Oh! There you are! Thought I’d lost you…”
I love writing as much as I love reading. I love the excitement of "watching" the characters and feeling the flow of words when I am in the "zone." I love the tired ecstasy of reading something finished, and knowing that it is better written than my last piece. I have even (sometimes) come to love writing myself into a corner, when I don't know where else to go, which I do much more frequently than I used to, only now it is not as crippling as it used to be, though it is still as exasperating. I have proved to myself over time that some of my best writing is to be found in those corners if I will simply do one thing when I don't feel like writing. And that is write.
on June 12, 2011 :
The Unsettled is a long book. Very long, but oh so worth the read! There are any number of twists occurring and the great thing is with most books you can sense the turns-around-the-corner coming. Not so here, and it is refreshing to be so involved in the story that you are captivated by it and not wondering when the next "punchline"will emerge.
Michael Schwaba's truly gifted manner of writing is also refreshing. It is quite natural with a steady rhythm that makes reading engaging and unforced, and yet, at least in this book, kept me on edge nervously turning each page fearful of what was next.
The story itself is far too bizarre for expounding, way too bizarre with so many pointed characters, I'm not sure which one to attempt explaining because they are interlocked. Let's say that The Unsettled is a story of......well......obviously, life and death, or is it about death and life? Immortality is for the gods, isn't it? Not according to Schwaba. Is the character Colly a spiritual madwoman trapped in a human body, and is the character Jessica a ghost child eager to enter back into a human world? How will she get back in? Angella? Tin Can Danny? Mackey?
Accidents are coincidental, right? That's why they are called accidents. Who would actually plan an accident? Is talking to yourself really innocent rambling or are you not alone in the conversation with yourself? Perhaps you've been instigated into speaking. Your words are being listened to. Your actions are being watched. Your thoughts are provocative and the decision to carry thoughts to action will not go unnoticed.....but by whom? According to the author, the spirit world has ears, big ears! And what they hear will determine vengeance or reward. Strangers may not be strangers after all, so careful.
Begin reading this book and I promise you your calm, settled nature will increasingly become unsettled. Not necessarily in an awkward way, but a challenging way. I think that's Schwaba's game: Wringing the mind like water from wet laundry.
(reviewed long after purchase)