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Customer Review

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the story that was advertised ..., March 14, 2008
This review is from: The Heroines: A Novel (Hardcover)
I was so disappointed in this I hardly know where to begin.

This mess of a book, though well-written, tried to do too many things at once. It begins with a charming concept: Heroines from famous books suddenly appear at the bed & breakfast run by 13 year-old Penny Entwhistle's mother, Anne-Marie. While Anne-Marie coddles and comforts the Heroines, being careful not to divulge their ultimate fates or plot lines to them, Penny rages and rebels over her mother's neglect. When a Hero arrives to reclaim his Heroine (a very unusual event), things start to get interesting. This was a grand start to what I imagined would be a wonderful romp of a story, but then the book suddenly veered into (as another reviewer here so aptly described it) 'Girl, Interrupted' territory, sending Penny into a horrifying psych ward for no apparent reason. The story just gets more and more jumbled from there.

Is this a fantasy about literary Heroines appearing in real life? Is it a gritty girl-trapped-in-the-looney-bin drama? Is it some sort of Freudian tale meant to have Serious Deeper Meaning (images of fatherless girls, forests, and puberty abound)? Why are there every-other-chapter references to Nixon and Watergate that do nothing to move the story along? Are the brief appearances of the Heroines real or imagined? The final straw for me was the tale of Penny's real father, which just tipped the whole thing over the edge into a complete muddle.

Worst of all, however, is the incredibly misleading story synopsis on the back of the book. I just felt cheated. This would have been a much better story if the author had just stuck to her original idea: the mayhem -- charming, chaotic or otherwise -- that results when figures from famous books come to call.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 18, 2009 3:54:48 PM PST
I have already posted my review, but your heading -- not as advertised-- could not have said it better. Thank you, hit the nail on the head .
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