Thursday Themes – Maisie Porter

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I’m delighted to welcome Maisie Porter to my blog today to discuss the themes of her new novel, No Reception.

Maisie's book cover


No Reception tells a tale of two women who appear at first to be mirror opposites in every aspect of their lives—professional success, material comfort, body type, love life—but will find their lives entwining and overlapping that neither could have foreseen.

For hyper successful wedding photographer and blogger Zody Swabler, anonymous death threats come with the territory. When warned by email not to continue booking jobs, she responds by accepting the next wedding request that comes in. Still, when a strangely eager woman approaches her in a café about the emails, she accepts the woman’s invitation to visit her home.

So begins Helena Hoath’s elaborate plan to take over the life and profession of the photographer she wishes she could be. Convinced that Zody is sleeping with her husband Archer, Helena uses the power of social media to destroy Zody’s business. When Zody unleashes her own revenge scheme, she discovers that a mentally unhinged woman may still have the wit to turn a successful photographer’s own talents against her.


Book Link:


About Maisie.


Maisie works as a wedding photographer in Australia, though she has neither abducted nor been abducted by any competitors.

Maisie's profile pic


The themes in ‘No Reception‘ (explained below), are all tied in tightly together. When I was plotting the story, I knew that the characters I created would be working as photographers and would be using digital communication as part of their jobs. What I didn’t anticipate was the extent of dissatisfaction that is evident in one of the characters or the fear of experiencing dissatisfaction that is shown by the other character.



Digital Communication.


The story is set in 2018, and digital communication is a central theme that is introduced early on when an email is received that sets into motion the plot of the story.

Moreover, the title ‘No Reception‘ indicates that communication has been lost.




Photography is the profession of two of the characters in No Reception.

Helena Hoath knows what she wants her photography career to look like; like Zody’s career.

Zody is proud of what she has achieved as a photographer; it is what she lives for.

The desire to achieve in this field pushes both these woman to a breaking point in complex ways.

The title ‘No Reception’ also relates to the theme of photography. A ha!





The character of Helena and the repercussions of her actions is a cautionary tale of what happens when a person thinks that someone else has a ‘better life’ and not taking a step back and seeing how good your own life is. The theme of dissatisfaction also ties in with how digital communication affects how we see our own lives and what happens when someone else’s online life becomes an unhealthy obsession.









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