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Mark Herder
The Sweetness of Her Self
Mark Herder, author

Adult; General Fiction (including literary and historical); (Market)

"The Sweetness of Her Self" recasts the love story of Orpheus and Eurydice set against the backdrop of the 1980s Hollywood punk scene. 
Johnny O., singer for an up-and-coming punk band, first notices Anne Jennings during one of the band’s gigs. He quickly becomes intoxicated with this otherworldly woman, her eyes the color of absinthe. Who is she? What is she? No matter: she quickly becomes his lover and his muse, their love creating its own myth, a defense against the grinding reality of poverty and despair.  
At the height of Johnny’s music career, Anne, last seen with a powerful music producer, disappears. Vowing to get her back no matter the cost, Johnny must ascend into a surreal labyrinth of what is real and an illusion. To find true love, must he lose his mind?

Plot/Idea: 6 out of 10
Originality: 6 out of 10
Prose: 7 out of 10
Character/Execution: 7 out of 10
Overall: 6.50 out of 10


Plot: Fast-moving, well plotted, and somewhat mysterious, this novel will have readers turning pages and wondering how the romance resolves itself.

Prose: The varied prose features solid descriptions and dialogue. The writing creates an effectively dreamlike tone throughout the novel.

Originality: Even though it builds on the framework of a familiar Greek romance, the setting and characters are clever and create an interesting world.

Character Development: Emotional characters with a strong connection make this a mesmerizing love story. The players are well crafted and believable.

Date Submitted: August 08, 2018