Prunella Smith: Worlds Within Worlds by Tahlia Newland

Publication Date: November 28, 2014

TN_Prunella_Smith_Worlds_WithinPrunella Smith is a freelance editor living several lives in the isolated Australian bush. In one life, she’s a Tibetian Yogi and in another an exotic dancer. In a third life, she’s being cyber stalked and harassed by an author unhappy with a review she’s written, and the final world involves the strong Kelee, main character in a book that Prunella is editing.


The author, Tahlia Newland, provided me with a copy of this novel in exchange for my review.


Prunella Smith: Worlds Within Worlds is a fascinating work of fiction that crosses over slightly with Newland’s Diamond Inheritance fantasy series (read my reviews of this series at Rabid Readers Too). Prunella illustrates for the reader the protective nature of creativity. Newland makes clear in her foreword that Prunella Smith: Worlds Within Worlds is not an autobiographical work. This reviewer harassed by an unhappy author while on trend is not something she’s experienced and thank goodness for that.

Prunella is an interesting protagonist. We shift as readers through her worlds. While many characters live in a modern existence, Prunella is someone who lives in a reality of her convenience. While she escapes the unhappy author in her work and fantasy life, Prunella finds her stalker making a definite and invasive move into her life strongly damaging her reputation. Does she escape or does she act?

The plotline of Prunella Smith: Worlds Within Worlds is well constructed and flows smoothly. Despite the reader hopping from world to world, Newland’s story maintains a strong cohesion. I was surprised to realize halfway through the novel that the shifts between realities were done so well that they flowed together. There are no jarring shifts even when we visit Kelee, the main character of the novel that Prunella is editing. Like Prunella, the readers engage with Kelee so that we come to care what happens in this sub-story and with this very interesting character.

The sub-story line involving the disgruntled author, Dita, adds a dangerous edge to the story. Dita is not a man to be denied. He feels wronged and unfairly judged in Prunella’s review of his novel. Prunella rationalizes that she was asked for an honest review and gave it; so all is well in her world. As a reviewer, the blood chilled when Dita invaded her life. In online threads, we hear stories of this sort of cyberstalking and Newland lays out the danger of a stalker obsessed in a way that chills the blood. Can Prunella handle the hostility? Could we?

Prunella Smith: Worlds Within Worlds is an everyman’s Vonnegut. Her story is surreal while remaining completely identifiable. Prunella’s avenue to escapism is her imagination and the isolation of the character enhances that rich creativity. She is invested in her worlds. The cover depicts a head with many moving cogs. I cannot remember the last time I saw a cover that represented so well the story within.

Prunella Smith: Worlds Within Worlds is very cleanly written and has been awarded the Awesome Indies Badge of Approval. If you are looking for a wonderfully written and cleverly crafted story, purchase Prunella Smith: Worlds Within Worlds today.

Read an excerpt and buy Prunella Smith: Worlds Within Worlds by Tahlia Newland on:

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For more information about Australian author Tahlia Newland and her work, visit her website. You can connect with her on Goodreads, Facebook and Twitter @TahliaNewland.