What kind of reviews stand out to a writer? As I write this, Amazon has The Wysman on sale, the paperback for $4.84 and e-book for $2.99. Here are my two favorite Amazon reviews of this book, both about the main character, Jarka, who was born with a club foot:
First, from a 5-star review:
“Often – especially in movies, but plenty of times in books – a character can be injured or have some condition that’s only their nominally, without having any meaningful impact. As someone who has a disability of her own, I really clap my hands at how Winsor nailed the balance I’d been yearning for for so long: a trait is present and shapes the character but doesn’t define him, but is simply like his eye color. It resonates with a lifetime spent with a certain physical problem; it’s there, but you work around it. But that doesn’t make the effects any less present. It would be easy to ignore when convenient, or even romanticize. But Winsor writes her fantasy in a way that’s successfully rooted in reality.”
How rewarding is that?
Second from a 3-star review :
“I believed Jarka was a distrustful, street kid, but I did not believe he was male.”
And how interesting is that? It’s entirely possible I missed in writing this character whose gender is different from my own. It also struck me as possible that this reviewer’s comment is related to the disability praised by the reviewer above. Maybe it made me or this reviewer think that Jarka didn’t fit with our societal definitions of “masculine.” I don’t know, but I appreciated this reviewer’s comment. I love it when people think deeply about what I write.