Aislinn Marchánt, a writer and editorial consultant, is hired by the major New York publishing company, Kane Publishing House, to help determine why several submissions sent to them have mysteriously disappeared only to be published later by another publisher. Are the editors at Kane simply not being diligent enough with the in-coming material, or is there something more sinister going on? Working from her West Palm Beach home, Aislinn quickly becomes involved with the House of Kane as well as with Caldwell Kane, the man who hired her.
As Aislinn works toward uncovering the various layers of truth of her former husband, her elderly neighbor, and Kane Publishing House, she continues to research her own novel, the story of a love between two people that becomes fractured because of the misunderstandings created by two different cultures. Her research takes her to abotanica where a Santerian priest reveals the truth in her own life and a destiny that is joined to that of Caldwell Kane.
What does TWG think?
I must admit, when the iRead team sent me the information and cover for this book, I was intrigued. Being honest, the cover did nothing for me at all, and, being a huge book cover fan, I knew I needed to not judge a book by its cover (just this once). The fact that ‘The House of Kane’ is set in a publishing house is quite clever. I got to see the publishing world from another angle.
It did take me a while to warm up the book however, I struggled to gel with the characters and found that I was spending a lot of time sitting on the fence. I ensured I carried on reading though as it’s a different type of book that I would usually read.
Whilst the main concept of the book is about the life within a publishing house, there is a hint of romance which breaks up the story rather nicely. The more of the book I read, the more I warmed to it due to Barbara’s writing. For me, her writing made the book. Seeing as this was the first book of Barbara’s that I had read, I had no idea what her style of writing would be like.
‘The House of Kane’ is a nice book to read that has various situations going on at one time, enough to keep you occupied. Barbara Casey’s writing, as a whole, completed the book for me and made me continue reading it.
(I received this book in return for an honest review)
Guest post from author Barbara Casey.
There are few things that can be so rewarding as seeing your book in print. There are also few things that are so difficult to accomplish.
In my novel, The House of Kane, which was considered for a Pulitzer nomination, I use the publishing industry as my backdrop and reveal some of the problems and difficulties that can arise not only with the writer, but within the publishing house itself. Aislinn Marchánt, the main protagonist in the story, is hired by a major New York publisher as a consultant to find out why so many of its submissions are suddenly getting published by another publishing house before it has even had a chance to take them through the review process. It is through this theme that I introduce amidst the joys, recognition, and rewards that come from getting published the underbelly of publishing that includes greed, misplaced ambition, and plagiarism.
The House of Kane is fiction, but it mirrors a reality that exists today in publishing, and particularly for writers. In that reality, writing is difficult, editing is difficult, and rejections are even more so. Ernest Hemingway once described the ordeal represented by that first blank piece of paper in the typewriter as: “It is facing the white bull which is paper with no words on it.”
Like that old man who fished along in a skiff in the Gulf Stream for eighty-four days without taking a fish in Ernest Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea, a writer must be prepared to face just as many difficulties. It requires the same blind faith and dogged determination. And even when you catch the fish, you must be prepared to fight the sharks that come to eat it as you try to get it back to port. And, in the end, you must be prepared to finish your journey with nothing but bones tied to the side of your boat, for it may be that your book will never sell because it is no good, or because the editor who can recognize its worth doesn’t exist. That is when you try again—because that is what makes you a writer.
Barbara Casey is a partner in Strategic Media Books, and president of the Barbara Casey Agency, representing authors throughout the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Japan. She is also a manuscript consultant and the author of numerous articles, poems, and short stories.
Her award-winning novels have received national recognition, including the Independent Publishers Book Award. Her novel, The House of Kane, was considered for a Pulitzer nomination, and The Gospel According to Prissy, also a contemporary adult novel received several awards including the prestigious IPPY Award for Best Regional Fiction. Her most recent young adult novel, The Cadence of Gypsies, received the Independent Publishers Living Now Award and was reviewed by the Smithsonian for its list of Best Books.
Ms. Casey makes her home on the top of a mountain in northwest Georgia with her husband and three dogs who adopted her: Benton, a hound-mix, Fitz, a miniature dachshund, and Gert, a Jack Russell terrier of sorts.