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{June 5, 2011}   The Keening, by A LaFaye

From Goodreads: Born into a family with artistry in their fingers, Lyza laments that her only talent is carving letters into wood. That is until her life is turned upside down when her mother succumbs to the influenza pandemic of 1918, which is devastating their small coastal town in Maine. With her mother gone, Lyza must protect her eccentric father, who runs the risk of being committed, especially now that he claims he’s waiting for the return of his dead wife. Can Lyza save her father and find her own path in the process?

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Milkweed Editions has been extremely gracious to allow me to read a copy of this novel, via Netgalley, but I am sorry to say that I really didn’t care for this book.  The synopsis quickly attracted my attention, but upon reading the story, I found myself often confused and uninterested in the life of the characters.  I think my confusion added to my dislike of the novel because it held me back in terms of getting to know the characters and understanding the true plotline of the story.  I had a hard time following Lyza’s train of thought, as she seems to go from one subject to the next, and I felt like an outsider as I read—it was difficult for me to make connections between the different topics Lyza brought to light, such as her father, her family, her schooling, etc.  I think the choppy style of the narrative is one of the main aspects that I struggled with, though the amount of description in the beginning of the novel was also daunting to me, as I live for action, and felt like the story thrived more on description than actual events.  Although the paranormal is present in this novel, and it is usually my forte, I have to say that overall, this novel just isn’t for me.  One star. 

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