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(This is Not) a Book Review

Updated: Dec 6, 2023

This is not a book review. As I write this, the song (This is Not) a Love Song by Public Image LTD rolls through my head. Ever heard it? Take a listen. I might as well get it rolling through your head nonstop as it as rolling through mine now. I’m nice that way. Just ask my husband.


Now it occurs to me, while this is NOT a book review, it is indeed a love story.


This is the story of how when I was sixteen my sister handed me a book and I fell in love with a whole genre.


The genre ~ Speculative Fiction. The book ~ The Mirror by Marlys Millhiser.

The classic novel of two women lost in time.

Originally released in 1978, The Mirror made its way from my older sister’s hand into mine in 1984. From page one, I was transfixed. I remember sitting in my teenage bedroom that still held remnants of the little girl me, devouring every word. Enthralled by the idea of Shay Garrett and Brandy McCabe, switching places in time.


Joie Lesin, author of speculative fiction, "(This is Not) a Book Review"

In awe, it excited me that this story evolved from another person’s imagination. That the author’s vision could whisk me away to the 1900s Boulder, Colorado and back again to 1978 with the help of a cursed mirror. Through the words, I could live vicariously through these two women, and I loved it. I knew this was the kind of story I needed to write—that I could put my limitless imagination to good use.


Now, I’d always known I wanted to be a writer when I grew up. By this time, I’d been writing stories for years, and it was at sixteen, the idea for my first novel, The Passenger, came to me. It was the beginning of my stories taking me to places I had never been—like California in the 1940s through the eyes of ghost whispering Elizabeth Reilly.


Of all my favorite books—reading Marlys Millhiser's enthralling book when I did, had the greatest influence on me as a writer and storyteller.


Until next time, what surprising places have stories taken you?



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About the Author

Joie Lesin, Author of Speculative Fiction

Minnesota-based author, Joie Lesin is a life-long fiction writer and the author of The Passenger. She has long been fascinated by anything otherworldly including ghosts. She loves to write a good ghost story—especially when it includes a touch of romance.

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