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Catching Genius Paperback – March 6, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
Now years later, the two sisters still not close, return to their Gulf Coast home to help their mom sell the family house. As they work on what to toss, what to give away, what to sell, and what to keep, their past as precocious partners and the subsequent split when they were seven and five respectively surfaces forcing both especially the elder to reveal family truths.
Alternating perspective, CATCHING GENIUS is a delightful look at how childhood relationships make the adults. Out of innocence and a real concern for her younger sister, Estella finds the road to hell paved with her good intentions. Though the Connie sections seem more insightful as the audience feels her decades old still lingering hurt while not quite understanding how Estella coped over the years, readers will appreciate Kristy Kiernan's poignant look at the changing relationship between two sisters.
The writing is good. I might suggest Ms Kiernan try her hand at mystery writing, in fact, because part of the reason I kept reading--maybe the main reason-- was that I was trying to figure out:
Is Estella mentally or physically sick? Did I misinterpret the earlier part of the prologue at the beach scene? If not,what really happened and why? At the end of the book I had a better idea but it still wasn't 'crystal clear'.
I also liked the development of Connie/Estella's mother and the resolution of personal and familial conflicts. And of course the book's main claim to fame: insiders view to what it might be like to have a math prodigy in the family, which depended partly on how it was handled.
Some of the things I didn't like: The long banter at the table with students on a subject with which I was already familiar, and presented as though the author is trying to teach us. As a Christian, I didn't appreciate some of the strong sexual allusions and the final "it's enough for now" encounter [I won't spoil it too much] although it might not qualify as 'casual sex' since their relationship is also seems to be moving forward.
I also didn't understand some of Connie's reactions, such as thinking she didn't speak out strongly enough to her soon to be ex, and why she would put up with her husband's infidelity for so long. Here again, an element of mystery enters in, at least for me. But with all that, I'll give her the extra half star for her compelling writing, as with a mystery, I could hardly put it down.
As of late, I've found myself really enjoying books that are set by the beach and tell the stories of characters that grew up in beach houses in beach communities. I personally grew up in a residential community in the mountains which somehow makes the idea of growing up by the beach take on a very foreign, very romantic, "oh that sounds so nice," type of feel. It just sounds incredibly peaceful, and I enjoyed the second half of this book much better than the beginning probably due in good part to that fact.
I like that Kiernan moved the novel forward, that the characters had progressions, but at the same time that she didn't end everything all tied nicely in a bow. Sometimes I appreciate that, but I think in this case, a little sense of the uncertain is necessary. The novel is about rebuilding and repairing relationships and at the novel's end it appears as if more of the journey is still to take place.
Overall, Kiernan's style suited me. She had a pretty balanced mix of flashbacks and chapters that covered present day, and her transitions flowed well between the two. She had details, but not too many that I got bored, and her writing was clear and not overdone. I was impressed with her debut novel and will definitely look to read her next book in the future.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent family drama with deep-feeling characters, wit, and a plot that has you hooked from the very beginning with nice twists and turns.Published 1 month ago by Audrey Sommer
After reading her other title, Matters of Faith, I figured I'd give this other novel a try and I'm glad I did. Read morePublished on August 6, 2012 by Denise
This is the second book I have read that was written by Kristy Kiernan. I love finding new authors to read and I am so glad a friend recommended her to me. Read morePublished on December 12, 2010 by Amazon Customer
kristy's writing and compassion is amazing. don't miss any of her books! each of her books touches your heart and soul...
sharon smaldone, nc
So I am reading this book and getting a little annoyed with one of the characters (Connie) and it hits me, the book isn't bad, it's that good that I want to yell at her. Read morePublished on March 2, 2010 by M. Ward
This was a book that I couldn't put down. I read it in 3 days. Each chapter kept me wondering what would be coming next. Read morePublished on July 4, 2009 by Margaret Hoogsrate
"Catching Genius" is a family tragedy, based on the power of suggestion. Early on in their lives, two sisters are labeled by their father--one a genius, the other "not so much. Read morePublished on June 22, 2009 by Susan K. Maciak
I found the first 100-150 pages really hard to get through but kept going since my sisters said Catching Genius was such a great book. Read morePublished on June 10, 2009 by frostydahlia
I met this author at a book fair in ST Pete FL. last fall. Enjoyed her verbal stories and now I can say I loved her written work too. Her characters are so real.Published on April 4, 2009 by debbiekcampana