3 out of 4 stars
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I think we all know how powerful family love can be. There are endless beautiful stories of parents devoting their entire lives for their children and siblings that would go to hell and back to protect each other. Well, this novel isn't one of those. Springtime In Lawrence Park by Arnold Logan is the perfect example of how dangerous it is to hold unrealistic expectations of the people we love the most.
Mary is a beautiful girl, perhaps too beautiful. She was born in a wealthy family with loving, protective siblings, a hard-working father that provides for all her needs, and a devoted mother. Her life could be perfect if only she didn't live under the shadow of a ghost she didn't even get to know. Life isn't easy when you're a replacement for the perfection your parents once had between their arms.
Before I rate the book, I want you to know it was an audiobook. Of course, it would be a joke to talk about typos. However, I am considering many other things regarding the edition of the book. The author managed to create an engaging narrative. I venture to say it was almost poetic, to an extent. Different songs and glimpses of speech in other languages make the narrative even richer. I am sure I would have loved to read it.
I wouldn't say the plot has issues because it doesn't. But there are some loose ends here and there that left me with some questions. I won't specify to spare you the spoilers, but I assure you my mind will be roaming on it for a while. The novel is character-driven. And if you want me to be honest, the author did a marvelous work with background stories and motivations. That's why it made me feel uneasy to see characters doing the complete opposite of what their previous behavior hinted. There's a fine line between plot-twists and out-of-character reactions. I am afraid the author crossed it a couple of times, specifically when it comes to Mary's brothers.
Because of these random reactions that didn't fit the characters' personalities, I will take a star from my rate and grant the book three out of four stars. I don't have any other complaints about it.
I recommend this book for people that enjoy character-driven stories with a sense of intimacy and delightful slice-of-life scenes. However, there are many trigger warnings I need to mention. There are several explicit scenes of sexual nature, some of them when the characters were still children. I didn't find a lot of profanity, but the language used in the novel is meant for an adult audience. There are mentions of different forms of abuse throughout the book, perhaps more often than the necessary. Last but not least, this book contains several incest mentions. If any of the above is a problem for you, I suggest skipping this book.
Springtime In Lawrence Park
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