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Monday, March 13, 2017

(23)Bleaker House by Nell Stevens

Twenty-seven-year-old Nell Stevens is on a mission.  She wants to write a novel.  She has taken all of the necessary steps to become a writer, including attending a prestigious writing program at Boston University.  But she still hasn't written her novel.  She wins a fellowship that allows her to go anywhere in the world to research and write her novel - all expenses paid.  She chooses Bleaker Island in the Falklands.  Pretty much at the very end of the world. In her memoir, Nell Stevens, details what it was like to live on the very isolated Bleaker Island.  From her internet woes to the wicked weather and her furry neighbors, Nell tells us all, including her processes to write the novel she just knows is in there somewhere.  Will she be able to write her novel before her time on Bleaker Island is up?

As an aspiring writer I was eager to read Bleaker House.  I have probably ten unfinished novels dwelling in my dropbox and have several more unstarted rolling around my pretty little head.  Like Nell, I believe if I could just have some time where life doesn't get in the way I could easily finish at least one of them.  What I know is that even with the perfect setup - Nell still struggled with putting words on paper.  At least the story she wants to put on paper.  She peppers her memoir with a few fictional stories that take you all over the world and give you a glimpse of her talent.  I really did love Nell's story - it was unique and fun. She met a lot of great people and got to see a part of the world that many people don't even know existed.   It also made me realize that the process of following your dreams can be very difficult.

Bottom line - while Nell didn't get the novel she intended to write while she was on Bleaker Island, she did find the material to write a book - Bleaker House. And I am pretty sure that it won't be her last book, either.    Definitely a source of inspiration for all of the aspiring writers out there.