NEWS & EVENTS
I'm cathartic and grateful to announce that
OF SCHOOL AND WOMEN is now available at
Barnes & Noble, Target, Amazon, and BookLocker.
Make your purchase here:
Purchases made directly from the publisher BookLocker are most appreciated!
OF SCHOOL AND WOMEN
"This is a wonderful book written with simplicity and honesty. It's immensely inspiring - Truly unputdownable! This book brings about the beautiful life of 80's in America. It talks about the struggles of university students, the challenges, opportunities and adventures faced by them. Most importantly it talks of friendships, friendships at all points of time, through highs and lows and thick and thins. The characters of Lynette Autry & Marie Martinez are in contrast to each other but both act as brilliant protagonists to this brilliant story which is mostly true. The life of Lynette is also very inspiring - how she manages to get her graduation despite living alone and working in a bar. The book also touches upon the sensitive yet important topic of human trafficking. Overall a light brilliant read, really very well written and love the narrative style."
"Of School and Women captures your attention from the very beginning. Immediately you are drawn into the two lives of Lynette and Marie, willing them on as they strive to succeed as working college students. The reader joins them on their journeys as they try to leave their pasts behind and push forward to create a better future for themselves. D. S. Marquis definitely has a great skill of building characters who come to life and who blend beautifully together. Lynette and Marie are loveable and realistic characters, both with their own strengths and weaknesses. Their relationship with each other really does display what it means to experience a true and lasting friendship.
The backdrop to the book also adds an extra level of interest, looking back to a time when technology wasn’t at the centre of our lives. When Marie is in trouble, miles away from Tallahassee, the limited methods of communication certainly do build suspense for the reader as her friends desperately try to rescue her before it’s too late. As well as this, D.S. Marquis adds flashes of popular 80s culture to build her world and certainly does succeed in sending the reader back in time, taking those who experienced this decade on a trip down memory lane.
The author is also not afraid to touch upon more sensitive subjects, which she writes about with great thought and care, that were not only topical in the 80s but that are also prevalent today. Her afterword gives an informative list of places to read more about these subjects, such as human trafficking, and allows her readers to become more informed on the subjects if they desire to do so.
Overall, Of School and Women is a very well written story based upon real life events and the true stories of people who lived through this fascinating decade. If you enjoy reading narrative non-fiction, you’ll love this book."
-Erika Crosse, Author
A VIEW FROM THE WINDOW
"'If you can't be good, be careful.' This quote resonated with me throughout the book. It's simple and true. You can't ever stop anyone from temptation. Human beings are naturally adventurous—how else are we supposed to learn?
Marquis created a genuine 80s vibe without the crazy hair (that is if the music references don't get you in the groove!). I've always been a sucker for friendship stories, especially when set in the 80s because human interactions were more intimate back then. (They used to write notes on napkins, not text messages!) People were more there and aware of the things around them. Nowadays, we lack this kind of awareness. Instead, we've adopted the explosive digital era where people connect differently (and not always successfully).
In the opening, we learn that Lynette, the main character, has a complex past that explains some of her paranoia and insecurity. Yet, she has a strong presence, is beautiful and funny. We learn that her unsatisfying love life is the only obstacle stopping her from focusing on her new life. Starting her bachelor's degree marks a new beginning, which includes looking for a job to support herself during her studies. Many of us can relate, but everyone's experience is different. Experiencing Lynette's college life brought me back to when I was studying and working simultaneously. It’s hard work that you don’t take for granted.
When Lynette meets Marie—a fellow student, life suddenly starts to pick up the pace. My first thought of Marie was that she is neurotic and hysterical, yet very adventurous and reckless. Despite being an extraordinary character, she doesn't strike me as a nurse, as she welcomes trouble and temptation with open arms. I would've loved to see her more often in a hospital setting and learned more about her insights as a Catholic girl doing things she shouldn't be doing (LOTS of things she shouldn't be doing!). I love how bold she is; she's unafraid to take risks. While Marie is impulsive, Lynette is cautious. But what can possibly go wrong when both cause trouble together? After all, they bring out the best in each other.
As someone who has never been to Florida, I could perfectly picture Marquis's 80s version of it and almost want to retrace her footsteps. The setting at the airport lounge summarizes many of my favorite parts of the novel, where she plays around nicely with third-person narratives, and we get a little taste of each character's thoughts. It also adds more real-life contexts to the book, especially when Marquis quotes news broadcasts to highlight the sociological and political situation during the Reagan era. Not only for the sake of history, but she also makes us aware of how past issues are still relevant today.
'Of School and Women' is beautifully written. The characters are well-established with their own inner journeys. (I would have loved an in-depth look into Lynette's life before college! Perhaps in her next book?). It's a friendship story about facing your anxiety regarding adulting; it's about empowerment, forgiveness, and friends being each other's missing puzzle piece."
-Paula C. Deckard, Author
HEART LIKE A HOLE
"Two years in the life of an undergrad! Compelling to walk along with the author, through life’s ups and downs. This book is a real page turner, I felt as if I were next to her the whole time. You will laugh out loud, feel as if you are going to cry, every emotion is felt as if you were part of the story. Highly recommended! Gives you a sense of how someone who is determined to make it on their own, on their own terms, can make it seem so easy, when the struggles are very real."