Maria, I'm going to deviate from the "standard" review usually used on WDC since I'm going to be reviewing chapter 1 of Pinatubo here. I myself have a novel (unpublished) and understand the lack of reviewing that novels tend to get on WDC. That said, let me get to the reviewing.
Your "prologue", although you don't title it as such on the "cover of the novel folder, outlines a sweeping novel covering a wide field of sub-stories... Mary and her love and relationships with old flames and new ones, plus her goal of finding out why her mother made the sudden announcements of her deceased husband after many years and the reference to her real story about herself.
However, your Chapter One talks at length about a "mysterious" Filipina, that runs on and on and one, in several very long paragraphs. This woman may play an important part in the novel later on it's true, but placed at the beginning of the novel I'm afraid only serves to drive away your potential readers and buyers.
It's absolutely vital to "suck the reader into your novel" right from the start. I think Chapter One needs major revision to do that.
Now, it's also true that I haven't read Chapter Two, on purpose, before writing this review, harsh as it is. I'm not trying to "dis" your novel, only to point out that, in my opinion, it has major faults.
Nearly at the end of the chapter you reveal that your father was murdered, or at least your mother said he was, we really don't know that for a fact.
Perhaps this murder is what you should base Chapter One on. Our lead character is on the plane to Manila. You show her thinking about her mother's revelation about the murder and the revealed infidelities of your father and your decision to return to Mt. Pinatuba and find not only the murderer but what caused your mother to reveal your fathers affairs and your mothers decision to forgive him after all these years.
On the plane there's nothing wrong with bringing the stunning Filipina into the story, but not on and on and on as you did, that really bogged the story down.
Now that I've said all of this I need to add that I think the plot of the story has merit, but the weak introduction needs improving before you can move into the meat of the novel.
Remember too, I'm a retired newspaper editor and I'm writing here more as an editor than a reviewer and it's just MY opinion. Take it if you agree, leave it if you disagree...it IS your novel, you are the author.
If you were to re-write Chapter One, I'd be happy to again review it and then move on to the rest of the chapters.
Thanks for allowing me to review you.
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