Review & Giveaway: The Grand Adventures of Madeleine Cain: Photographer Extraordinaire by Emily Craven


Title: The Grand Adventures of Madeleine Cain: Photographer Extraordinaire {#1}

Author: Emily Craven

Published: September 2012

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Status: Read on April 20, 2013 — I own a copy {Courtesy the author}

My Thoughts:

“Just wanted to say, this wasn’t how I imagined the start of my grand adventure; a prig for a housemate and some unidentifiable (possibly Mexican) amphibian called Duncan. My vision of studio loft apartments, spacious and bright come nowhere close to describing this disturbing student housing. I mean, I’m paying a fortune, I have to find a job, and all I get is some crummy, two bedroom apartment with paint peeling off the walls, a cupboard for a kitchen and a bathroom that makes a moss infested cave network look like a barren desert plain. Seriously, there is enough mould on those tiles to start producing our own penicillin tablets.”

And so begins The Grand Adventures of Madeleine Cain: Photographer Extraordinaire in New York where Madeleine will be studying photography at a prestigious private arts college. Having left behind her friends and family in Australia she is on her own, adjusting to her new life while lurching from one hilarious encounter to another.

I have to admire Craven’s creative approach to storytelling, and admit to being somewhat surprised it actually works. The Grand Adventures of Madeleine Cain: Photographer Extraordinaire is told entirely in Facebook status updates, notes and private messages as Madeleine communicates with her friends and family. From the descriptions of her first day at college, where her housemate’s stowaway chameleon causes havoc, to her photographic study of cross-dressing little people and her crush on her cute, if self absorbed neighbour, Kevin, Madeleine apprises everyone of every step of her journey. Her family and friends are variously supportive, concerned and disbelieving in their replies, and each update earns Madeleine more ‘Likes’ from an unseen audience.

But it’s not all about Madeleine, from afar she is called upon to defend her wayward genius brother, comfort her hypochondriac best friend and continue to tease Tim about his relationship with his toaster. These ‘conversations’ give the story added depth and develops a uniquely connected cast, especially as her New York friends join her friendship circle.

Despite the unconventional format, The Grand Adventures of Madeleine Cain: Photographer Extraordinaire reads well. Anyone familiar with Facebook will quickly become comfortable with the rhythm of posts and comments. It’s a short read at just about 150 pages yet there is plenty happening to ensure the reader’s interest.

I was disappointed at the rather abrupt ending though, even with the knowledge that Craven expects to continue Madeleine’s adventures. In fact Craven is hoping that readers will become involved in shaping the story by joining the various Facebook pages she has established for her characters. It is an ambitious idea and though one I admire, I’m not sure it’s one readers are ready for quite yet.

The Grand Adventures of Madeleine Cain: Photographer Extraordinaire is a funny, lighthearted story of a twenty something Aussie making her way in the Big Apple. Well written and entertaining it is a unique contemporary read and I hope to be privy to Madeleine’s next adventures.

Join Em Craven and Madeleine on her adventures at: The Grand Adventures Of Madeline Cain Facebook Page


See your favourite characters interacting and join in! Like These Pages and Go For It!


Madeline Cain; Kathy Bloomingdale; Tim Gleeve; Cliff Wheeland; Kevin Doherty; Nadine Cain:; Mike Cain; Kim Enuik

The Grand Adventures of Madeleine Cain: Photographer Extraordinaire

is available to purchase

@AmazonUS I @AmazonUK I @Kobo I @Bkclb


 Emily Craven is offering you the chance to win

 1 of 2 electronic editions ((epub, mobi or PDF), of

The Grand Adventures of Madeleine Cain: Photographer Extraordinaire

 Open worldwide

 To Enter




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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Michael Potter
    Apr 23, 2013 @ 17:25:08

    Thank you for the review. I am intrigued.



  2. Rechelle Owens, Romance Author
    Apr 24, 2013 @ 06:54:10

    I love stories where the protagonist goes off to follow their dreams. I also think the idea of having an interactive fan page and allowing the readers to have input is a brilliant idea and a great way to build up a fan base!! Good Luck!



    • Emily Craven
      Apr 25, 2013 @ 22:19:12

      Thank you so much for your kind words Rechelle, I figured there was no harm in experimenting with ‘real world’ storytelling, and frankly it’s awesome fun for me to write!



  3. St. Jay Von Skunk (@VonSkunk)
    Apr 26, 2013 @ 20:36:07

    the photographer extraordinaire bit has gotten me interested. Don’t think we get to read a lot of Australian fiction in my part of the world



  4. Claire Louisa Holderness
    Apr 26, 2013 @ 21:58:35

    Sounds like an interesting book adding this to my ever growing list of “to read”



  5. Trackback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? | book'd out

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