Saturday, December 15, 2007

Bitter Sweets

I really like writers' first novels--like an addict, I'm always on the lookout for the next first-published author. Ann Packer's The Dive from Clausen's Pier, Danielle Ganek's Lulu Meets God and Doubts Him, and this one--all tops. These people have been nurturing a single plot and set of characters through all their writers' groups for years, and it shows. The characters are fresh--light and without too much tortured introspection. The plot usually twists in a way that I can't see it coming more than 50 pages off.
Roopa Farooki has created the story of three generations of a Bangladesh/London family, but she's managed to avoid the Thornbirds saga feeling, thank goodness. There's enough lying and betrayal to make the story interesting without the characters starting to hate each other because of it. Some of the loose ends were tied up a little TOO nicely, though I can't give away any more details about that.

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