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Blood Orange Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 2010
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About the Author
Drusilla Campbell lives in San Diego with her husband, horses, and dogs. She is co-founder of The Writer’s Room, and speaks and teaches at writing conferences throughout Southern California. She is at work on her next novel.
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Some of the major plot actions seemed contrived and did not flow naturally from the action. The author attempted to explain the actions, but it strained credibility.
Overall, this was a strange read for me. It had all the elements of good fiction--good prose, an plot with a mystery and a good amount of action, characters with conflicts--but it just didn't come together for me. In this book, the writing process poked through and I never got immersed in the story. It seemingly has the same elements of a great Stephen King story (like The Green Mile: The Complete Serial Novel, which I'm reading now) but it just didn't work. Perhaps it's that the main character wasn't honest with herself, even in her inner dialogue, and it wasn't clear if the author did this on purpose or if the author wasn't being honest with herself either. It was weird.
According to Dana, Bailey is NOT autistic. One would have to concur as the girl's behavior does not support that diagnosis. Bailey, marginally verbal was described as stringing together random rhyming words; deliberately "sprinkling and spilling" powders; "airplaning" from room to room and having a mercurial temperament. She sounds as if she is cognitively delayed. A student at a local special school in San Diego, Bailey appears to be perfectly happy with the world as she knows it.
On a sunny May 29 in the early part of the 21st century, the Cabots' world changes. Bailey is kidnapped and a local task force is working diligently to find her. When she is returned home some 3 months later, she becomes mute and withdrawn. The hyperactive "airplaning" becomes a thing of the past and threatening notes appear literally in Dana's path.
The list of suspects is quite long. Bailey obviously knew her kidnapper as whoever took her taught her to bodysurf. After a lifetime fear of water, she becomes quite comfortable in it and can even swim. The question is who the kidnapper is. The list of suspects is the grandson of a neighbor who worked tirelessly to find her; a priest who happens to be Dana's best friend; a weird woman whose husband is on trial for child molestation and murder who is ensconsed in the Cabot house as David Cabot is representing the husband; a lover Dana had when she spent a vacation in Italy. Who, if any of these people had any part in Bailey's kidnapping? What happened during her 3-month absence?
Although I thought this was a well written, riveting read, there were parts that bothered me. I could not see why the Cabots would lodge the wife of a child molester/murderer suspect; the woman was cruel and one could only fear for the safety of her unborn child. A question in the mind of readers was if this woman could have had any part in Bailey's kidnapping. The real question is why any parent allow someone like that into their home. One could only fear for Bailey as well. The ugly and sordid nature of the alleged abuser David Cabot is defending and the accused man's wife provides an effective contrast to the idyllic descriptions of the flora in San Diego.
All in all, a good read. This is a good companion book to A Road Through the Mountains
page to keep up with what is happening. Her characters are well-developed and one is left
asking for more and more of the story. The Good Sister is also a favorite from Ms. Campbell,
who is very good at making more of a story than initially meets the eye. I would enjoy seeing
her novels made into movies, for sure!
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