Have you ever gone outside of your comfort zone?
What did it feel like? And were you better for going outside of your comfort zone?
Well, I did in reading The Other Side of Midnight by Sidney Sheldon. This 1974 classic best-selling novel was something I would have never read five or ten years ago. However, I do believe in timing and it definitely was the right time to read this story.
I will admit that I got the inspiration from Mike Duran, author and blogger, when he decided to read a novel outside of his comfort zone with Francine Rivers’ popular novel, Redeeming Love.
Thanks for the inspiration, Mike. (BTW, I would recommend you check out his blog as well. He always has some thought-provoking blog posts about Art, Faith, and the Publishing Industry.)
So I went to Wikipedia and looked up the top ten bestselling novelists: (in order)
William Shakespeare, Agatha Christie, Barbara Cartland, Danielle Steel, Harold Robbins, Georges Simenon, Sidney Sheldon, Enid Blyton, Dr. Seuss, and Gilbert Pattern.
I read that list and wondered what has made those novelists the world’s best sellers and I chose Sheldon out of that group to find out.
The Other Side of Midnight revolves around four people, Catherine Douglas, an innocent, naive, young American wife, Larry Douglas, her playboy-pilot husband who has a magnetism for the ladies, Noelle Page, a sophisticated French actress who is a master manipulator, and Constanin Demiris, a Greek tycoon whose wealth and power can get him anything he wants and will stop at nothing to get it. While I don’t want to give away the entire story. Let me write that a woman’s scorn is nothing to mess with.
Sheldon’s novel has a soap-opera feel to it and I know that will turn off most readers of literary fiction. But, I must admit when I started reading the story I could not put it down.
Because of that, I thought of this quote:
“Every good book should be entertaining. A good book will be more; it must not be less. Entertainment…is like a qualifying examination. If a fiction can’t provide that, we may be excused from inquiring into its higher qualities.” (C.S. Lewis)
How appropriate from C.S. Lewis. This novel definitely passed the exam for being entertaining. Lust, Revenge, Power, Innocence, and interesting plot twists all made for a novel that many people wanted to read and made a best-seller.
I’m glad I went out of my comfort zone to read The Other Side of Midnight and would recommend others take that detour as well. Warning, it could be entertaining and might cause you to stay up a few late nights.