Thursday, June 7, 2007

Mother Sings Me To Sleep


Mother by Linda Ann Rentschler absolutely put me to sleep--literally. The first night I tried to read a few chapters, I couldn't keep my eyes open and finally gave it up and went to bed. Let me tell you: that never happens to me. The book reads like a first year fiction writing class assignment--improbable plot with manipulated ending, a dull (slightly irritating) heroine, too much exposition and too little dialogue.

Mary Sullivan grieves to the point of reader nausea over the death of her mother and just happens to meet a young woman in a luncheonette on the day before the evening that Cathy (the young woman) loses her own mother in a tragic car accident. Cathy ends up on Mary's doorstep, looking for comfort. She gets the address from a policeman. Small town? Really small town?

The two women bond instantly and Mary leaves her husband and two sons plus myriad commitments to go to college with Cathy and take a course that will help her become acceptable to a professor psychic who will help both women contact their dead mothers. Are you with me here?

The best parts of the book emerge when the husband and two sons are onstage. They are perfectly drawn and provide humor and delightful dialogue. The scenes in which they star are funny, poignant, and right on target--so the gal can write. I just wish she had used a little of that creativity on the plot and main characters.

The ending has an unexpected twist but the foundations are laid too late in the book to make for a believable construction. Don't wait on the movie, folks. Wait for her to write two more books.

She's got talent, she might get better.

No comments: