Friday, January 16, 2009
Trouble the Water
Meh. The best thing about this book is that it was a quick read. Of course, it was quick because I didn't linger on any of the words or passages. And I'm going to give away a bit of the plot, so don't read this review if you ever plan to read the book.
Set on St. Anne Island, a fictional South Carolina coastal island, the story centers around Honor Maddox. Honor has arrived on St. Anne's, depressed and broke. After her rescue by a bunch of Gullah nannies, she is turned over to the Duchess, an eccentric widow with plenty of room in her big house. She takes in Honor and the two opposites proceed to become BFF.
Then suddenly, jump forward a few months. Honor is in the hospital and her sister Alice is reading a letter Honor wrote to her, recalling her past mistakes and the happiness she found on St. Anne's. Of course, Honor dies and Alice follows in her footsteps to find happiness on St. Anne's. Big surprise.
I found the characters shallow. They didn't seem fully developed and I would have liked more information on their background. The story skipped back and forth between time and narrators. I was able to follow it initially, but the switch to Alice reading Honor's letter was jarring. I also thought the Gullah nannies were there just to add some local culture...why did they all have to be nannies? And why did they have to speak with such thick accents, when the other (white) characters had none? This bothered me. I also saw the childhood sexual trauma from a mile away, so there were no surprises there. And the ending was way too trite. And wow, I'm being pretty harsh. But the book was a disappointment...good thing it was a library book.
However...Amy loved it. So if you'd like to read the total opposite of my review, go read Amy's.