Monday, February 11, 2019

"Amethyst Dreams" is better described as beige

Three parts to this review: 1) The introduction is entirely charming and I could listen to Whitney reminisce for much longer. 2) The narrator, Susan Ericksen, is superb and provides the protagonist with far more personality than the text. 3) The book itself, which is disappointing.

This is supposed to be a Gothic & a mystery. It's neither. Hallie enters a world of lost people and long buried secrets and...does nothing and has nothing done to her. She's confused, people decide to spill their secrets, the book ends.

I can almost believe people opening up about long-hidden secrets--there is something to be said for throwing a stone into a pond, and Hallie serves that role. The trouble is, she has about that level of personality as well, and one wants rather more in a protagonist.

Her "detecting" consists of saying "I can't do this" alternating with asking people "What do you think happened?" and ignoring people who said things about her friend "liking to cause trouble."

There's also a lot of telling rather than showing: We are told Hallie is practical and stable and that her more flighty friend, Susan, listened to her advice. There's no point in the novel where Hallie comes across as particularly practical, stable, or useful. There are also no stories or memories of incidents in which Susan needed her help--just statements that she had.

And I love happy endings, but Amethyst Dreams consists of a sudden "Bam! Everyone is happy now!" Even someone who has spent the entire book dying of cancer is suddenly chipper and apparently well because he's regained the will to live.

I was so glad to visit Goodreads and see others saying Amethyst Dreams isn't Whitney's best because I have fond memories of her from high school and would hate to think that they were entirely based on fals premises.

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