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Thursday, December 23, 2010

FALLING DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE...AGAIN??

In this exciting, page-turning book, we follow the travails of Lily Forrester and her daughter Shana. We met them in a previous book, The Cheater, and learned a little bit of their troubles—Lily's unhappy marriage to Shana's father; a night (after the divorce) when Lily and Shana were both raped; and then the murder of Shana's father some time later.

Now they are still dealing with the aftermath all these years later. Lily's career is about the only thing she can be proud of at this point: she is a superior court judge.

Shana is almost ready to graduate from Stanford Law School, which should make Lily happy, but despite how she has jumped through hoops to make up for the past, her relationship with her daughter is strained at best. And she just keeps sending more and more money.

So when Shana calls for her help one day, Lily feels like she might just get the chance to make up for things.

But what happens next is like a bad nightmare in a series of bad ones. Shana's place is a mess, she looks like she's on the edge, and she is obsessed with a boyfriend that dumped her three weeks before.

So when Lily takes Shana to a psychiatric hospital, just hoping for some medications to help her daughter sleep, she has no idea what dark hole she'll be entering.

From the point that Shana is admitted into Whitehall until several weeks later, it is almost as though Shana has fallen down the Rabbit Hole. Meanwhile, Lily resumes her work life (on the advice of the psychiatrists), oblivious to the scene unfolding.

The story takes us back and forth, from the present to the defining moments all those years ago, reminding us of the very horrific events that created this scarred relationship between mother and daughter.

What does Shana discover behind the walls of the "Snake Pit," and how will she begin to save herself? What will Lily do when she finally learns of her daughter's plight? And once Shana is free, will the horror end?

I enjoyed My Lost Daughter, just as I have enjoyed previous works by this author. However, this particular story seemed a bit convoluted at times, instead of the usual seamless plotting and characterizations. There was a subplot involving an FBI agent that seemed there just as a convenience. Then I kept thinking there should be more to the story of Shana and her father: that unhealthy relationship must have had a few more layers than what we saw. And Lily...I just wanted to shake her sometimes. For such a smart woman to make so many bad choices there had to be a backstory for her, too.

For this one, I chose to award four stars. For Rosenberg fans, they will enjoy a thrill ride; for newbies, perhaps another one of this author's books would be a better place to start.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

A TEMPEST IN A TEAPOT -- OPRAH'S BOOK CLUB PICK

















There was a lot of furor over Franzen's first book, The Corrections, after it was appointed to Oprah's famous book club.  Some of that tempest in a teapot was brought out into the open the other day when Oprah interviewed Franzen on her show.  Because she has appointed Freedom to the list this year!

So obviously the two of them have sorted out that whole fiasco already.  They talked about it on the show, in fact, and now we're moving on.

I've noticed that neither book got great ratings on Amazon, but I enjoyed The Corrections, and expect to like Freedom as well.

What others think about books affects me to a certain degree, but if I want to read something, based on whatever leads me in a particular direction, I'm going to do it, even if others are underwhelmed.

That said, I have now moved my copy of this latest book a little closer to the top of my stacks.  It's a hefty book, so I'll need to read it when I don't have a lot of competing books on my list.

What do the rest of you think?  Has anyone read either book, and did you love it or hate it?  Stop in and share, please....

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