Monday, January 21, 2013


I've recently read the first two books, Glow and Spark, in a new trilogy by Amy Kathleen Ryan.  Two spaceships are traveling to a distant planet, which will be called New Earth, to colonize it.  All the adults on one ship, the Empyrean, are either killed or captured by people from the other ship, the New Horizon, and the girls are kidnapped because the people on the New Horizon are determined to be the first to populate New Earth.  I really enjoyed both books, and am eagerly awaiting publication of the third, but I had a problem with one character's name, and it kept jolting me out of the book.

The leader of the New Horizon's name is Pastor Anne Mather.  This probably doesn't mean anything to most people, but in real life, Anne Mather is the author of a number of Harlequin and Mills & Boon Romances, and one of the original authors of Harlequin's first spin-off imprint, Harlequin Presents.  I think I know why Ryan chose this name for her character:  Pastor Anne Mather presents herself as a motherly figure, and "Mather" is close to "mother."  Reminding myself of that didn't help me get past the issue, unfortunately.  Every time I encountered the character's full name, I would have to regroup and get back into the story.

I had a similar experience on a recent re-read of Susan Elizabeth Phillips's book It Had to Be You, which was published just before O. J. Simpson killed Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman.  Football is a major part of the story, and the fictional characters make reference to real-life players and coaches.  It was almost surreal to read this book, which portrayed O. J. as a good guy, and to realize that while it was still on the shelves, O.J.'s reputation was forever smeared with the blood of his victims.

Still, it's weird how the tiniest things can rip me right out of the pages of an otherwise good read.

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