Thursday, July 16, 2009

Geometry doesn't add up

The theme of last weekend's library excursion seems to be sisters.

The latest tale of sisterly bonds is Luanne Rice's "The Geometry of Sisters" (ISBN 9780553805130).

"Geometry" introduces us to the Shaw family. Mom Maura has been estranged from her sister for decades and daughter Beck misses the sister who ran away the day their father died.

The perfect Shaw family was, of course, riddled with secrets. And how those secrets played out was fairly predictable.

But predictable can be entertaining if the characters fascinate.

That's where "Geometry" fell short for me.

It was all a little too pat. Where was the sisterly angst over the years of separation and past hurts? Where was the internal struggle over Maura's "perfect" life and her true love? Where was any kind of real emotion at all?

I was let down.

Was the reader meant to be engrossed in the tale of lovers separated by decades and tragedy? Or to be drawn to the teenage math prodigy and her issues?

I wasn't sure.

As I said to Jason the other day, I seldom truly dislike a novel. I often finish a book and think, well, that was OK. Nothing really bad or good to say about it.

Such was the case for me with this latest Rice work.

- Tricia Ambrose

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