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The Girl Who Had It All

The Girl Who Had It All

A quiet village in South America is graced with the arrival of a mysterious teenager from Europe.

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Crime / Suspense / Mystery / Thriller


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Emilia Young (Australia)


As far as the locals were concerned, Jennifer was the village slut, but she didn’t care. Born of American parents but raised in Rome, the 28-year-old Italian had moved to Uruguay to start a new life for herself after she qualified as a veterinarian. Eventually, a landowner in the area offered her a job on a huge estate, with an abundance of livestock to tend to. Jennifer enjoyed the job, but hated her boss. He was a sleazy Brazilian who was constantly propositioning her. She was always game to having a bit of fun, but she drew the line at the over-tanned 60 year old. After refusing his advances again, the old boy turned nasty and decided to make her job a living hell. Nobody bullied Jennifer – her whole essence didn’t stand for it. She resigned on the day he sent her out to assist a calving cow. On inspecting the area for several minutes, the vet found nothing untoward. She called staff members immediately, who notified her that she was in the wrong area. Confirming the correct location, Jennifer sped off in her 4x4 only to arrive ten minutes too late. Both mother and calf had lost the will to live. The bloody scene still turned her stomach to this day and the look of disappointment on the faces of the gauchos had left a professional scar. One of her younger colleagues was kneeling down, patting the cow’s neck and mumbling something. With tears of rage, the vet raced back to the house to find the Brazilian. Unaccustomed to raising her voice, she stated that it was his bloodbath out in the fields. Surrounded by witnesses, the man barked back, accusing her of professional negligence and claiming that she clearly hadn’t concentrated on taking the call.
Slamming down the truck keys on the large dining table, Jennifer had shouted, ‘You all have blood on your hands!’
She gathered her belongings and drove to the village, where the news got round of her resignation, and within days several ranches solicited her help. Jennifer decided she would only do temporary jobs and base herself in the village. She was an excellent vet and the village needed her. She had always been an animal lover and on several occasions even put her life on the line for one.
Picking up a hairbrush from the chest of drawers, Jennifer got ready for the working week. She turned to the mirror and brushed her long, thick blonde curls. Her good mood was suddenly dampened by her reflection.
‘Why do you always have to spoil things for yourself?’ she whispered.
Had her parents been alive today, Jennifer would never have conducted these affairs, especially as she herself had been the product of a happy marriage. Unable to justify her actions, she picked up her medical kit, which was kept in a saddlebag, and walked out to the main road where her lift to the ranch was waiting for her.


Competition: June 2015 Pen Factor, Round 1

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Read Reviews

Review 1:


Compelling hook?

Fresh?

Strong characters?

Entertaining?

Mechanics - Narration Styles
  • You handled the story’s narrative modes appropriately and accurately, making it a clear and enjoyable read.
Internalizations
  • You write powerful inner monologues. You introduce these effectively by allowing the reader into the character's head and hearing their direct thoughts.
Narration and dialogue: Authentic voice
  • Your characters' voices were convincing and authentic.
Main character
  • Your main character(s) really got into my head. I found them believable through their actions and dialogue. Your protagonist exhibited a unique voice and had original characteristics.
Character conflict
  • Your characters drew me into their world from the very beginning of the story. Their conflicts and goals were well portrayed.

Review 2:


Compelling hook?

Fresh?

Strong characters?

Entertaining?

Attention to Mechanics
  • You demonstrate a professional quality of writing throughout the story. It’s always a pleasure to read polished English.
Mechanics - Narration Styles
  • You handled the story’s narrative modes appropriately and accurately, making it a clear and enjoyable read.
Internalizations
  • You write powerful inner monologues. You introduce these effectively by allowing the reader into the character's head and hearing their direct thoughts.
Narration and dialogue: Balance
  • Your story struck a good balance between narration and believable dialogue.
Narration and dialogue: Authentic voice
  • Your characters' voices were convincing and authentic.
Characterization
  • Your characters drew me into their world from the very beginning. Their goals, conflicts and purpose were introduced and I wanted to find out more about them.
Main character
  • Your main character(s) really got into my head. I found them believable through their actions and dialogue. Your protagonist exhibited a unique voice and had original characteristics.
Character conflict
  • Your characters drew me into their world from the very beginning of the story. Their conflicts and goals were well portrayed.
Plot and pace
  • A truly absorbing story! Maintaining the right pace and sustaining the reader’s interest is a challenging balancing act. The chapter was engaging and gripping! The story had a coherent progression with a structured conflict.
Conflict
  • The build-up was intriguing and kept me on the edge of my seat the whole way through! I felt the tension mount with each word.
Suspense
  • The joy of reading often lies in the element of suspense prompted by internal or external conflicts. Your story makes compelling reading.
Technique and tight writing
  • The writing was tight and economical and each word had purpose. This enabled the plot to unravel clearly. Your writing exhibits technical proficiency.
Point of view
  • The story successfully solicited the reader’s empathy through the clever use of the narrator's point of view. You show great deftness in handling point of view.
Style and originality
  • I loved your fresh approach. Creating a unique writing style while maintaining quality of prose requires both skill and practice.
Atmosphere and description
  • Your story creates a vivid picture. A feast for the senses. The atmosphere wrapped itself around me and transported me onto the page alongside your characters.
Authentic setting
  • The setting was realistic and vivid. The characters’ moods and emotions were conveyed successfully through the believable setting.
Setting the scene and backstory
  • A nice amount of detail was given in the right tone for the genre to set the scene. I was fully immersed in the place and unfolding events. The way the characters reacted to the setting and atmosphere was cleverly done. The narrative is skillfully presented. I was never bogged down with information or backstory.
Opening hook
  • You caught my attention with your strong hook. It was well written and I was intrigued from the word go. I wanted to find out what happens, and how the main character develops.
Opening line
  • Your opening line is a promise of wonderful things to come and I was not disappointed. This is a page-turner.