Nora Roberts, an American bestselling author, is considered “the queen of romance”. Her novel The Liar was released on April 14, 2015 and has a four out of five star rating. In this novel, Nora showcases her ability for unique word usage and her ability to use intense descriptions; however, while the novel had many twists and turns that were suspenseful the ending was foreseeable. Nora Roberts was born Eleanor Marie Robertson on October 10, 1950, in Silver Springs, Maryland, the youngest of five children.
She married her first husband after high school and began writing in 1979, while stuck in her home during a snowstorm with her two sons, although she claims no real ambition to become a writer. Her first attempts of having her novels published failed until her novel Irish Thoroughbred was published in 1981. She wrote 23 novels between 1982 and 1984 but was not recognized till 1985 when Playing the Odds, her first best-selling romantic series received great recognition among romance readers. famousauthors)
In 1992, she was producing novels every 45 days and began writing as J. D. Robb and then later also as Jill March after the publishing company suggested she adopt a pseudonym so more of her work could be published. In 2007, Roberts was chosen as one of the only two writers in Time magazine for the 100 most influential people in the world and was the first author to be inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. Since then she has received 19 Rita awards, and became the third author to sell more than 1 million books on Kindle.
She has more than 400 million novels in print with thirty-four sold every minute and they have spent a combined 893 weeks on The New York Times Best Sellers List with 176 weeks at the number one spot. (Cadwalladr) The Liar is a comedy/romance that takes place in Rendezvous Ridge, Tennessee. The main character, Shelby, suddenly widowed and left with a large amount of debt by her husband, returns home to find herself again and start over with her daughter, Callie. However, the process of starting over and finding herself comes with many difficulties as well as a new love interest, Griff.
The climax comes when Shelby’s assumed dead husband, Richard, returns with his true actions coming forth and Shelby finally surrenders herself to Griff. The novel concludes with Shelby facing her past and standing strong against Richard, Richards arrest and Shelby and Griff’s progression into marriage and a fresh start. Throughout the novel, Roberts’ showcases her ability for unique word usage to exemplify objects. One example is Robert’s usage of the word spit in the following paragraph: “Almost as impatient as her daughter, Shelby laughed.
But it also means a split in the road – where you can go one way or the other? ’ If we went to the right – the hand you color with? If we went that way, we’d be in Rendezvous Ridge in a spit. But we go left . . . ” (Roberts 57) The word spit to describe how fast they would arrive at Rendezvous Ridge is not something readers would hear very often, if at all. If most people were to describe how quickly they were to get somewhere by taking one direction or the next, someone would most likely hear “You will get there faster if. . . ” or “If you take that way, you would get there in x amount of time.
The usage of this word however fits in with this story as readers are told from the beginning the language of Shelby is southern and in reading the passage they can almost see that as something a southerner might say. Another example is Roberts’ usage of the word sicked in the following passage: “I was. I chugged it down as fast as I could because the taste was so hard and sour to me, then I sicked it all back up again. I never did acquire a genuine taste for beer”. (Roberts 128) In this passage the word sicked is a very unique way to describe becoming ill.
Again it fits with the story line of being from the south and how they would speak throughout the story. However, it is not something a reader would likely hear someone say. A person is more likely to say “I threw it back up. ” In reference to being ill over alcohol then they are to say “I sicked it back up”. The final example of Roberts’ word usage is the word scene in the passage: “She felt a scene rising up in her, a dam ready to burst and flood hot and wild over everything in its path. ” (Roberts 20) In this passage the word scene to describe her anger is an interesting choice of words.
A scene is usually used to describe where something occurs when referenced, however, in this passage she is referring to her anger growing more and more. When most people express their anger they may state “I felt my anger rising. ” or “I felt my blood boil. ” From this statement readers are able tell that her anger is immense and though Shelby is usually calm, she does have a limit. In addition to word usage Roberts’ also shows her ability to use intense descriptions that activates the reader’s imagination. One example of her use of intense descriptions is in the passage: By noon she was winding, winding up through the green with her window half down so she could smell the mountains.
The pine, the rivers and streams. Here there was no snow. Instead wildflowers sprouted – little stars, drops of color – and the houses and cabins she passed had daffodils springing yellow as fresh butter. Here clothes flapped on lines so the sheets would carry that scent into bedrooms. Hawks circled above in the blue. ” (Roberts 56) The way that Roberts describes the wildflowers as “little stars, drops of color” and how the daffodils are “springing yellow as fresh butter”, readers can picture just how it would look in their mind.
She uses stars of color in contrast to the wildflowers allowing readers to picture many different colors almost sparkling as they sprout up from the ground. Roberts also uses fresh butter in contrast to the daffodils which allows readers to picture the perfect color of them as if they were taking the walk themselves. A second example of Roberts’ intense descriptions is in passage: “She’d known places to sit and look out at forever. How the whipper-will sounded when dusk fell in clouds of soft, soft gray after the sun died red behind the peaks”. (Roberts 57) This passage allows for the picture of a beautiful sunset.
You can almost see the reddening sun setting behind the mountain tops with the clouds changing from their snowy white to the soft gray color as night begins to fall and almost hear the whipper-will in the distance making the infamous “whipper-will, whipper-will” whistling sound. A third example of Roberts’ is intense descriptions is in the passage: “Shelby made her way outside, onto the wide back porch, looking over the big backyard with its vegetable patch already sprouting, kids clambering over a swing set, a grill smoking, picnic tables lined up like soldiers with balloons tied to chairs”. Roberts 61)
This scene allows you to image a family gathered together and having fun. Her use of this image is very realistic and something many people can relate to. You can picture Shelby standing on a porch with the kids playing around chasing and laughing while that adults are by the grill cooking hamburgers and hot dogs and carrying on a conversation. A final example of Roberts’ intense descriptions is in the passage: “Everything was greening and sprouting and blooming with the misty rain turning the green, the color, more vibrant.
All those scents – wet grass, wet earth, the tender sweetness of hyacinths dancing purple among the yellow of daffodils – drifted to her as she walked the long, familiar road”. (Roberts 78) The way she describes the rain and walking along a road where flowers have spring makes this passage so vivid. You can picture yourself walking along that same path with my hyacinths and daffodils swaying and a misty rain falls around you and you can see the vibrant colors of the flowers in contrast to the grass. In contrast to the twists and turns of the novel, the ending though suspenseful, was foreseeable.
The novel was suspenseful in the following passage: “I thought the same about you, she thought, and said calmly, coldly, ‘Richard. ’ His head whipped around. She wondered what she looked like through those burning eyes. She hoped she looked like Vengeance. He bared his teeth, let out a short laugh. ‘You haven’t got the spine. ’ He lunged at her. They heard the first shots as Forrest spun the truck onto the dirt track. All plans to go in quiet, one in front one in back, while backup poured in behind them, dissolved. ” This passage puts you on the end of your seat waiting to see what will happen. Will he get her or will she get away?
As it jumps from Shelby’s point of very to that of a third party, you are left without knowing what had transpired or what anyone is really thinking. The ending is foreseeable with the stereotypical girl meets boy, boy woos her, they fall in love, tragedy strikes but all is well in the end and they live happily ever after. This can be seen throughout the book in many ways. Shelby moves home to rebuild her life and meets Griff, whom her usually shy daughter takes an immediate liking too. Griff propositions Shelby many times to go out and is always there for her when she needs someone to talk or a shoulder to cry on.
Shelby eventually agrees to a date and though there all many twist and turns around their budding relationship in the end everything works out and they begin their lives together with no more interruptions. While is it clear The Liar illustrates Roberts unique word usage and intense descriptive visuals, it also has the predictable ending that is found in most romance novels which doesn’t leave readers on the edge of their seat anticipating the outcome. The novel itself shows why Nora is “the queen of romance” but the ending leaves much to be desired.