I finished my new novel, The Masks on Grandmother’s Wall, months ago. I had it edited. The editor suggested I expand some parts. So I did. The novel is now complete, and I am very happy with it. But now comes the icky part.
I have to write a synopsis for the book proposal. I’m okay with writing the promotion plans, my bio, competitive analysis, all that stuff. But for some reason I just detest writing synopses, at least of my own work. So for nearly six months I have been putting this chore off. And The Masks on Grandmother’s Wall is still patiently waiting …
So finally I made myself write a synopsis. But because of my issues around writing synopses, I don’t know whether it’s a good synopsis, or a bad one, or just mediocre. Therefore I am sharing it on this blog, to see if someone will give me their opinion.
So here it is, the synopsis of The Masks on Grandmother’s Wall. What do you think? Would you want to read this book? Please comment. (But be gentle.)
The Masks on Grandmother’s Wall is a short novel of 29,000 words, including fifteen original animal folktales. It is about the power of storytelling and how it connects, inspires, teaches, and heals us. It is about the elusive nature of truth and the illusion of safety. Finally, it is about the search for identity, and finding a place where you belong.
Long ago, or maybe only yesterday, cousins Emma and Lucy arrive at their grandmother’s empty house. They have come to pack up Grandma’s studio after her death. Grandma was a storyteller and mask artist, and memories of her stories and masks come flooding back during the afternoon Emma and Lucy spend at her seemingly now-empty house.
While they take the masks off the wall of the studio and wrap them up, Emma and Lucy tell each other some of the stories that go with the masks. The fifteen stories they choose are told in the classic folk-tale style, companions to animal masks, such as the Beaver who tells “How to Lighten Up,” the Flea who tells “How to Stop an Itch,” the Frog who tells “How to Take a Leap of Faith,” and so on, until they come to the final story, the Spider, who tells “How to Find Your Way Home.”
Emma and Lucy are young women in their twenties, closer than most cousins and also close to their grandmother, to whom they often told their problems and griefs. These problems are still operating in their lives, but Grandma is no longer there to help them. Emma is a self-described “waffler” who cannot decide on a profession or a man, and dismisses her inborn talents that are obvious to others but not to her. Lucy is a budding archaeologist in love with scientific facts and fearful of anything that could be described as “deep.”
As they tell the stories and wear the masks, the narrative shifts between Emma and Lucy. Until the last story when Grandma herself, through the mask of Spider, again helps Emma and Lucy discover truths about themselves.
And so it ends, or maybe it is just beginning.”