The Writer's Children by Rebecca Ash

Artistic and historical conflict, amid the fragility of human relationships, reign over a family unwittingly brought together for a Thanksgiving weekend.

The Jacoby family unwittingly come together for Thanksgiving in Connecticut. The family is a somewhat dysfunctional one, comprising an eccentric (and eponymous) writer, Jacob Jacoby, his wife Mary, and their five children, one of whom died from cancer years before.

Consecutively the novel takes place over a few days preceding the holiday, with Anna Jacoby, the youngest daughter, returning home after three years, and other members of the family arriving. Flashbacks reveal Jacob’s time in the Vietnam war and how this inspired him to write one of the greatest war novels of the 20th Century; and a boat trip with a mentally ill man and his subsequent suicide that led Anna to take flight.

Also returning for the holiday are the youngest son Sam, who, as a college football hero is the antithesis of everything the literary family hold dear, volatile eldest son Sean. and the Jacoby’s middle daughter, Rachel who, alongside husband Bill, leads a life of American perfection which she through her actions tries to escape.

The over-arching themes of the novel are the differing individuals' approaches and theories to life; death and survivor’s guilt; nature versus religion; and overall private redemption.

  • Classification: Universal
  • Work is: Fully available on Authonomy
  • First submitted Aug. 16, 2010
  • Last updated Aug. 16, 2010
The Writer's Children
  • Read 11 times
  • On 4 bookshelves

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  • Retired user
    Karamak [Retired] wrote 3 years, 3 months ago

    Hi, I have read your first chapter and really enjoyed it so I have W/L it to return to when I will leave a more detailed comment, but so far this is a well written and plotted story with a lot of promise. Your characters are well constructed and believable high stars from me, Karen, Faking it in France.

  • RebeccaAsh's avatar
    RebeccaAsh Author wrote 3 years, 3 months ago

    Thank you Dean!

    [QUOTE] Rebecca, wicked book cover for starters.

    You write beautifully, with lots of description and it moves at a pace. Your a very clever and accomplished writer and I look forward to reading on.

    Your words set the tone and atmospere.

    Like it so far.



  • judoman's avatar
    judoman wrote 3 years, 3 months ago

    Rebecca, wicked book cover for starters.

    You write beautifully, with lots of description and it moves at a pace. Your a very clever and accomplished writer and I look forward to reading on.

    Your words set the tone and atmospere.

    Like it so far.



  • katie78's avatar
    katie78 wrote 4 years, 1 month ago
    your cover has an eerie, fantasy/crime feel to it and didn't seem to fit the story. your pitch seemed convoluted and overly long. loved the title. your writing is exceptional. i loved your opening. the beginning starts to drag with descriptions of the house. i was relieved when i got to the dialogue, which was well done. i read better outside authonomy's format. would you be interested in a read swap? and, either way, would you like your book listed ...
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  • katie78's avatar
    katie78 wrote 4 years, 1 month ago

    this is exactly the kind of story i'm drawn to. are you up for crit?
    btw- i think a fast way to improve your pitch would be to include line breaks. the white space makes it more visually appealing.

  • Retired user
    GK Stritch [Retired] wrote 4 years, 11 months ago

    Dear Rebecca Ash,

    I fell right into The Writer’s Children as easily as falling onto the silk sofa from Thailand or the familiar brown couch. Oh-la-la for comfy writing, I just love your style – LOVE it. You’ll probably get the same criticism I do: paragraphs and chapter too long, but, frankly, methinks people have forgotten how to read: short attention spans filled with trash.

    Best wishes and backed.

    GK Stritch
    CBGB Was My High School

  • Retired user
    Andy M. Potter [Retired] wrote 4 years, 12 months ago
    Hi Rebecca. great evocation of mood and place. accomplished prose. on my shelf. when i like something, i read more closely, trying to offer some feedback. here's a VERY, VERY minor thought re descriptive passages. it may not fit Ann's POV, but here goes ;) perhaps prune the odd adverb now and then. e.g., near start of ch1: "...amid the equally fairly bleak scenery." - maybe just "equally bleak scenery." e.,g, near end of ch: "...kind of classic beauty that ...
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  • Raymond Crane's avatar
    Raymond Crane wrote 5 years ago

    I have read your book and am very pleased with the high literary style, the unusual association of inanimate things with the characterisation and the overall technical skill of execution. It would be a pleasure to read your book if I had the time so I WILL back it . Perhaps you could have a look at my books - goodluck ! !

  • Lara's avatar
    Lara wrote 5 years ago

    I really like your plot and the interweaving of the relationships around it. Sometimes you overwrite but in the main, a good read.
    Good for Him

  • Marija F.Sullivan's avatar
    Marija F.Sullivan wrote 5 years ago

    Fine writing, indeed. Backed with pleasure, M
    - Weekend Chimney Sweep
    - Sarajevo Walls of Fate

  • The Collector's avatar
    The Collector wrote 5 years ago
    Rebecca, hi there. I have only read Chapter 1 so far but I like it and I will put time aside to read the rest of it . Like the natural dialogue ; like the descriptive narrative, particularly evocation of other senses than sight - the smell of dog - for example. It's well written as far as I have got so far. The only thing I find that interrupts the read is the format of the letter and press ...
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  • Duncan Watt's avatar
    Duncan Watt wrote 5 years ago

    Hi Rebecca ...

    A well written expose of life in New England society. Some of the descriptive passages I found a little overlong, but that is my opinion only. Good characters and dialogue. 'Backed'. regards ... Duncan.

  • Dorothea's avatar
    Dorothea wrote 5 years ago

    Your style of writing is truly luxurious. A pleasure to read.

    Tracy Buchanan
    The Candyfloss Room

  • greeneyes1660's avatar
    greeneyes1660 wrote 5 years ago
    Rebecca, It is midnight and I just finished this ASTOUNDING novel. What better topic then human perception. As i wrote you earlier, this reminds me of "Ordinary People" a similar premise but you've done it, in my opinion, in a much more appealing way, though i enjoyed it(Ordinary People) it was open to mixed reviews as people unfortunately want blood,murder, action and fantasy every 5 minutes, but I enjoy the human mind and find it more thrilling and intrigueing. The ...
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  • mvw888's avatar
    mvw888 wrote 5 years ago
    I always get a little excited when I read someone's profile and some of their favorite books align with ones I've loved, especially off-the-beaten-path type choices like Remains of the Day and the Eggers book. I'm always expecting a little something extra. In your case, I wasn't disappointed. Your writing is beautiful, with a leisurely pace, description that resonates and serves deeper purposes, a slow revealing of character. Because your style is in some ways like my own, I find ...
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  • Elizabeth Wolfe's avatar
    Elizabeth Wolfe wrote 5 years ago

    Dear Rebecca,
    Your opening scene at the grey sea shore is so true to a New England coastline. I felt I was standing at the beach, seeing the gray and sand, and feeling like a part of that early winter scene. Lovely!

    Elizabeth Wolfe (MEMORIES OF GLORY)

  • Retired user
    aldousremoved wrote 5 years ago
    You are obviously talented. I had backed this earlier and I persisted in reading much of it. I wanted to like this but I couldn't, that's not a criticism. I think it's because I couldn't fall in like/love with any one of the characters, although I tried. In some respects the undertone of negativity that I felt, of and about the characters and their lives (I guess that's simply life anyway, isn't it), seemed to echo the Dreams of Darwin ...
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  • beegirl's avatar
    beegirl wrote 5 years ago
    I think you write beautifully and I believe you have a story to tell. I do think that you have a little work to do to get this to the point that it is public ready. 1. Pitch--you need to get a good hook in your pitch that just begs us to read this book. What is the climax of this story--were do we get lost and need to be refound--take us there and leave us hanging so we want ...
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  • LeahPet's avatar
    LeahPet wrote 5 years ago

    Opening with the weather/description of the setting is never a good idea if you want to get published.

    I open literary fiction expecting clean, beautiful prose and this wasn't.

    The pitch gives nothing interesting to expect.

    In the bookstore I wouldn't even have opened it after reading the back cover. If I did open it, I would put it back on the shelf after two paragraphs.

  • Retired user
    Frits wrote 5 years ago

    Good writing. Great characters. You got the mother/daughter kind of estranged but still connected by memories and blood down really good. Interested in meeting the rest of the family. Somehow disfunctional and/but still a family. I'll back it.
    The Devil's Maw