Monday, March 7, 2011

Daughters by Consuelo Saah Baehr


Consuelo Saah Baehr

Dell Publishing

1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019 USA

I love family sagas. Well, sagas of any kind, but the family ones are the best. I love seeing the characters’s lives meld and interact with the many generations, so I was happy when I received this book from the Goodreads Giveaway program.
It arrived directly from Ms. Baehr, which I thought was a nice touch. But when I opened the package I groaned in despair. The cover did not bode well, it looked like one of those bodice-rippers from which I stay far, far away. And horror of horrors, it was a LARGE body-ripper. In this instance the age old adage was true, the cover sucked but the book did not.
The setting itself, Jerusalem, is as exotic a setting as a reader could wish. I could practically smell the velvety scent of spices and feel the caressing breeze as I read about Miriam, Nadia and Star’s lives. The author is careful to add touches of the political atmosphere surrounding the changing times in the book, but never writing enough to take away from the important and already complicated storylines.
I do have a few complaints. First off, can’t publishing houses afford editors that know grammar? Countless times throughout the book I was tempted to grab my red pen to slash through needless or erroneous words. Lots of phrases would have benefitted from more symmetry. It would have made reading some passages all the more enjoyable. I know the main blame should go to the author, but don’t countless people read the book before it is published?
My next complaint is a personal one, so it might not affect how another reader will take it, but I will say it anyways. The three principal women suffer from a crippling limpness of character. Let me explain: they are ridiculously passive in their own lives, things happen TO them without their ability to take action for themselves. I am sure Ms. Baehr was trying to make a point, but I like my heroines a bit, oh I don’t know, heroic. Again, it’s my own view, so take it as you like.
Regardless of my whining, the book was a very entertaining read and I do recommend it to people who want a fun immersion in the tangled lives of three women in an exotic land.

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