Fran Marian is one of those delightful people I have met through the Internet’s uncanny way of connecting people of similarly obscure interests. She is currently working on a book set in the period of the Hittite Empire and found my website during her research. Usually these Internet acquaintances stay virtual, but we live in the same state and so we got together and had a wonderful time sharing our common enthusiasms.
Her interest in the Hittites arises from her travels in Turkey, as did the artistic subject of her first two self-published books, The Rug Broker and The Chinese Silk. In The Rug Broker Nora, a determinedly independent, newly widowed Oriental rug broker struggles to balance her business, her troubled son, and her love life. No wonder she has so much trouble given the dangers and pitfalls Fran builds into the plot. Fraud, Turkish prisons, hidden grudges, abusive parents—there are lots of challenges that threaten to throw Nora off the deep end permanently. But she’s got two big brothers who won’t let her down even though they might yell at her first. She’s also blessed with great friends both in the US and Turkey with the love and know-how to provide the best of help, but then maybe those friends are hidden foes? But her worst enemy might be herself. Will she let anyone, even her son, behind that strong shield of independence and self-sufficiency?
If you’re drawn to the beauty of Turkish carpets and the emotional roller coaster ride of family drama, The Rug Broker offers an enjoyable read. Fran’s vivid descriptions of a host of gorgeous carpets and their histories will bring these works of art clearly into your mind. As is often true of self-published books which don’t go through the usual cycles of rejection/editing, The Rug Broker has some inconsistencies of place, sequencing, and character development, but nothing too serious. It’s a worthwhile book with an exotic focus.