Monday, September 27, 2010

Phyllis A. Whitney: The Ebony Swan

This novel is one of Whitney's later ones, published in 1992. Fun fact: the author died at the age of 104! She also thanks Dr. Robert Atkins-- I assume THE Robert Atkins in her introduction to this book. He must deserve some credit for her ripe old age.

This novel centers around Alex Montero, a seventy something grandmother/former ballet dancer. Her granddaughter, Susan Prentice, has come back to her family home in Virginia after twenty-five years away. She has not spoken to her grandmother, Alex Montero, since she went away at age six. Mystery surrounds her mother's death which led to Susan's being spirited away in silence from the family she loved.

The past is not dead, and someone does not want Susan and Alex to know what really happened to Delores, Susan's mother. Whom can Susan and Alex trust?

To be honest, I read all the way to page 150 and quit. The novel just seemed silly to me, and it was dragging terribly. Other than Alex, most of the characters were flat and uninteresting.

Perhaps the tipping point was when Whitney threw pages of health information in the middle of the novel-- all about supplements like fish oil and hawthorn root, etc. I really believe in fish oil, but that was a bit over the top! It was laughable and dampened the budding romance while being overtly preachy and bizarre. I should cut the author some slack; after all, she was around 90 when she wrote this novel, and she did live a long life, but it's still not what I want out of a Gothic Romance Novel. I know she has so many other great novels that I didn't want to waste anymore time on this one.

Rating: 2 stars    **

I don't recommend this one unless you are a hardcore love everything Whitney has ever written fan. 


Fiddlette said...

I agree...I read the first 15 or so pages and they felt so forced I gave up.

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