Evie Manieri Blog Tour: ‘Midlife’
When I read a super early manuscript of Evie Manieri’s debut fantasy novel ‘Blood’s Pride’ I instantly fell for it; not only for its originality but also for Evie’s wonderful imagination. If you’ve read my review you will know just how much I enjoyed it, and if you haven’t read it yet then you can do so by clicking here. I’m delighted to be the last stop on Evie’s on what has already been a fantastic blog tour! Here she will be discussing how she uses the fantasy genre to explore a rather pivotal time in anyone’s life – the mid-twenties. ..
Is it Midlife Already?
While there is a fairly broad age range among the characters in BLOOD’S PRIDE, the majority are in their mid–twenties. That’s no accident. My twenties were a hellscape that made high school – a time when I could still believe in a ‘special destiny’ waiting to be revealed – look like the Sound of Music. I’m not alone in this. Mention the idea of being twenty–three again to someone in their thirties – or better yet, in their forties –and they will blanch and mumble a comment like, ‘not even for that waistline.’
I watched some truly terrible sitcoms when I was a kid, and I remember the obligatory mid–life crisis episodes in which the 40ish dad made an impulsive purchase or flirted with an improbably sexy younger woman. (According to American TV, a woman spent her mid–life crisis rolling her eyes and waiting patiently for her man to come to his senses – not that anyone gave a damn.) This type of behavior made some kind of sense in an era when graduates were funneled into reliable careers and family responsibilities before garnering much life experience. By the time sitcom–dad’s life invited examination, half of it was over.
When people leave school now, the cord that’s cut is less of the umbilical and more of the parachute variety. That’s why I find the twenties the most fertile ground for upheaval and meaningful change. We’re left struggling not just with the exigencies of independence, but with the cognitive dissonance of the image of ourselves that’s adhered to us and which we accept as fact versus the much more elusive idea of who we truly are.
Fantasy may seem an odd place to explore this, but for me, these questions are as epic as any we face. What do we do when we begin to suspect that we’re not a tidy or even a consistent collection of traits? If we change – if we’re true to ourselves – will we alienate the people who have a vested interest in seeing us remain as we are? How can the people who profess to love us really know the first thing about us, when we don’t even know ourselves? Whole worlds can be shaped around questions like these, and I suspect I will be doing so for as long as I have the opportunity.
A big thank you to Evie and Jo Fletcher Books for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this!
If you’ve missed the other posts on the blog tour then please check out the links listed below: