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Two Diaries    by Marcus Ryan order for
Two Diaries
by Marcus Ryan
Order:  USA  Can
Xlibris, 2005 (2005)
*   Reviewed by Barbara Lingens

Two Diaries is the story of two people and what their lives did to their love. Michael is an ecologist and Katherine a designer and editor. They have a terrible time making ends meet, constantly losing grants and jobs. Finally, they find some stability, but their jobs are on opposite ends of the country. They write and call every day. Then, Katherine is in an accident. Michael's efforts to help Katherine while keeping his business going and fighting off her rapacious relatives are closely documented.

The author has chosen a difficult task, to tell this story by melding the private papers of two talented and highly verbal people. Usually authors do the opposite; from diaries, journals and notebooks a story is created. Sustaining the reader's interest in short and long diary and journal entries over almost 600 pages is not possible the way this book is written. It cries out for strong editing. There is way too much repetition in the story itself. In addition, in the latter part of the book, whole entries are repeated verbatim from earlier entries.

There is some fine writing in Two Diaries, but it needs cutting and shaping to be able to be appreciated by all but the most dedicated of readers.

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