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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Guest Review: In Too Deep - Bea Davenport



In Too Deep by Bea Davenport
Review: In Too Deep - Bea Davenport - June 2013

Maura was one of those wallflowers: colorful enough to be sometimes noticeable, but most of the time so inconspicuous as to vanish into the bigger design of life on the wall, unless someone made the effort to take a closer look. Someone like her narcissistic husband, Nick.

Growing up, in school:(view spoiler)
She would experience the same in her adopted town Dowerby.

As an already married woman with a young daughter, Maura met Kim. She was her first real friend whom she could trust and who changed her outlook on life in many ways. Kim opened up a world of exciting possibilities to her, which she grabbed onto with everything she had. There was just one problem: the Dowerby town did not find comfort in the feisty, free-spirited new journalist in their midst. They did not appreciate Kim's nosy questions about town management and people's private lives, especially not those of the council members. Suddenly there was someone who did not flinch in rocking their safe little wooden boxes in which they flourished on corruption, mismanagement, greed, unfaithfulness, hypocrisy and fraud. Kim knew how to send the wood chips flying everywhere. The only box they would not allow to be shattered was the ancient-old dunking-chair of the Dowerby Fair.

"Everyday Kim said something kind, which I took home with me and thought over, and knew I was lucky." Kim would also expose the poisoned chalice in her life - one that Maura never would have identified on her own and even denied existed. She taught her daughter to become a people-pleaser like herself to safeguard herself.

But then Kim, the person who taught her to re-evaluate her own life, believes, self-image, unexpectedly died. The circumstances in which it happened, necessitated Maura to leave her daughter, as well as husband, and flee her old life to start a new life somewhere else under a different name...

For five years she got away with it, until a journalist tracked her down and forced her to confront her past and face her own truths.

*****
It is quite intimidating to write a review for a book that has been written by an accomplished word-smith. I mean, with a Phd in Creative Writing thrown somewhere into this mix, a reader can only insist on this being a reader's review with a limited knowledge of the English language in all its splendor! However, whatever you think or do with this review, do not touch neither my adverbs nor adjectives!

The book does not only charm, engross and pull the reader into the story, it also contains beautiful prose like this: " Even the lipstick-coloured roses that filled most people’s gardens in Dowerby couldn’t cheer up the scenery..."

This is an excellent debut novel. Constant suspense in a fully developed plot. The weather becomes an effective tool, and not a pathetic phallacy, in the fast flowing tale of betrayal, love, intrigue, friendship and justice. A riveting drama.

Did this book comply to Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing? Mmm, I could add a few more adjectives and adverbs to prove my point if you like...

I just adore the number 10 rule: "Think of what you skip reading a novel: thick paragraphs of prose you can see have too many words in them. What the writer is doing, he’s writing, perpetrating hooptedoodle, perhaps taking another shot at the weather, or has gone into the character’s head, and the reader either knows what the guy’s thinking or doesn’t care. I’ll bet you don’t skip dialogue. I did not want to skip anything in this book. In Too Deep did not use a plethora of thick paragraphs to fill up the pages.

The mother of all No-No's in my book always was and still is an over-indulgence in 'logue-fests'. You know, those epi-, pro- and other logue-paraphernalia such as an additional introduction and forword, destroying, even polluting, an otherwise promising tale? I have read books before in which I wanted to megaphone-jolt the author out of a mega-attack of self importance. The urge to holler "For Goodness' sake get over yourself and get on with it! " was mega strong. And by the grace of all serious Word Muses and other available Deities in the universe I found someone influential and respected, like Elmore Leonard, who agrees with this aversion.

This book passes this test,actually the entire ten-point-test, with flying colors. So, with no further hooptedoodle, I declare this debut novel a perfect ten! So much so, that I am standing in line for the next book from this author, hopefully long before the first sentence hit the author's thoughts.

Recommended! No! HIGHLY recommended!



                                                                        

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