Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Secret Sister


by Elizabeth Lowell

Have you ever read a book about which you are indifferent? This book falls under that category. I loved "Moving Target", and lent it to my best friend to read, who also enjoyed it. So when she picked up "The Secret Sister", she handed it to me to read, saying that she really enjoyed it.

The storyline was very unique and intriguing. If there's anything I love about Elizabeth Lowell's books, it's that I learn something. In "Moving Target", it's all about medieval manuscripts, and in "The Secret Sister", the reader learns about the Anasazi and their culture. We're taken on a journey through Western America as Christy searches for her lost sister. Kokopelli, potsherds, kivas, cliff dwellings...The author describes them fluidly and vividly.

But (you knew there was a "but" coming...) she describes them a bit too much. This seems to come up quite a bit in my posts; the over verbosity of authors. Readers aren't dumb. We get it. You don't need to go on and on about a tree, or in this case, a potsherd. Get to the point already. She could have saved a bit of paper if she was short and sweet. One love scene went on for at least 4 pages. Yes, Christy's in the throes of ecstasy. Move on.

Ms Lowell also used the same phrases and ideas more than once. In the very first chapter, Christy decides to break up with her boring boyfriend Nick. So I established in my head that she was broken up. But then, a few chapters later, Christy decides again to break up with Nick, and the author uses almost exactly the same wording she had already used. There were also a few back-and-forths between Christy and Cain that were repeated, and I remember thinking to myself, didn't we already go through this?

The search for Christy's sister Jo-Jo kept me excited for the story despite the issues I mention above. The good balances with the bad, which is why I'm indifferent. It's an ok book. Probably not one I'll read again (like "Moving Target", which I've read more than once), but it won't turn me away from Elizabeth Lowell, either. Maybe her next one will be more impressive.




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