Jacob Finch Bonner achieved instantaneous fame with his debut novel, “The Invention of Wonder;” now, after failing to publish a worthy follow-up to cement his literary fame and success as an author of note, he’s an instructor in a three-week graduate program at the Ripley Symposia in Creative Writing.
To his credit, Jake has shown up, but he’s failed to read any of his incoming students’ sample pages . . . they’d gone from their Priority Mail envelope straight into his beat-up leather satchel to be carried into his shabby office at Ripley, unread.
To say that self-doubt, despair, and disappointment filled Jacob Finch Bonner would be to overlook that which is most obvious: despite his long-held dreams of being a writer, and his overwhelming success with his first book, he sees himself as a failure.
The required faculty/incoming student get-together, a barbeque, was not optional; it was there that Jake struggled to make small talk until he could escape to the safety of his apartment. It was here that he ran afoul of a rude, oblivious student that Jake is certain will end up in his own seminar tomorrow morning. Definitely not an outcome Jake wants, but definitely one he cannot change.
But what will happen as things get underway and Jake finds something amazing in one of the folders? Will it bring Jake good fortune . . . or disaster?
It’s an intriguing idea that a writer would take and use a plot set forth by one of his students . . . but is there really any plot that is the domain of only one writer? Is it even possible for one writer to steal a plot from another? And is it plagiarism if that writer uses the plot but none of the other’s own words?
So many questions arise from this opening . . . the idea is spellbinding, the mystery, compelling. It’s the sort of story that promises to be can’t-put-it-down immersive; I’m looking forward to reading the rest of this incredible tale.