jump to navigation

THE GIRL WHO WOULD SPEAK FOR THE DEAD By: Paul Elwork April 4, 2011

Posted by lycan librarian in book reviews, Books and reading.
trackback

     As the Lycan Librarian was slogging through the first chapter of this novel, which she had anxiously anticipated, she sighed, realizing her expectations would not be met. She had thought she would find a book that would be either dark and creepy, or light and magical. It was neither, and any hopes of finding  enchantment within the 308 pages instantly sank as deeply as poor Cousin Regina. (You’ll have to read the book to get that one.)
     No, the Lycan Librarian wasn’t especially impressed with this selection, but she did like Emily quite a bit. The book is listed as historical fiction, as it was inspired by upstate New York’s infamous Fox sisters who helped launch the mid-nineteenth century’s Spiritualist movement, but one doesn’t get a good feel of the time or place, and are kept mainly confined to the furniture-shrouded rooms and enormous yard of the sprawling family estate. When moved off the property, one does not have a feeling of being elsewhere, so the reader spends the entire novel walking through a fog of when and where the characters are moving and speaking. 

     The author jumps about through time a bit, from chapter to chapter, but one of the most fascinating stories in the book, the tale of Emily’s great-grandfather and his love affair with a slave was narrated to the girl by a servant. I would have loved to see these characters firsthand as their story unfolded among the pages. One of writing’s strictest laws is to” show and not tell,”  in order to bring your work to life in the reader’s mind, but this writer was permitted, by both his agent and publisher, to discard this rule. Also,this novel read more like a young adult novel than adult, so this librarian is scratching her head over how this author’s agent and publisher let him get away with so many things she, herself, would have been soundly scolded for trying with her books. Life is such a mystery, is it not?

     It isn’t a horrible book, and for those who like supermarket novels, this will probably satisfy your palate. It would be a good beach or vacation read, because little concentration is needed to read it. But the Lycan Librarian is forced to wonder exactly how much was used to write it.

Advertisements

Comments»

No comments yet — be the first.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: