3 out of 4 stars
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Deborah Rosenfeld is a professional photographer working on an archeological site in Israel. When Reuben Headey shows up at the same archeological site, Deborah recognizes him. Reuben is her older cousin, and she had a crush on him when she was six. Back then, she even wrote a letter telling him to wait for her to grow up so that they can get married. Though Reuben found her strikingly beautiful, there was no way he could have thought that Deborah was his beloved cousin, Debbie. Well, that's because everyone believes Debbie was killed in a road accident when she was sixteen.
In Deborah, Reuben saw the woman his beloved cousin could have grown to become if she wasn't presumed dead. A 'Faustian bargain' and eventual change in identity led to that cousin becoming Deborah Rosenfeld, but he would never know if Deborah didn't expose her cover. The challenge is that she falls in love with him again, and Reuben seems to have fallen for her. So will she open up and tell him who she really is? Can Deborah handle the answers to her tricky questions about how Reuben felt about Debbie at that time? And just how did Debbie become Deborah Rosenfeld? You will find the answers to these questions if you read Portrait of Debbie: A Deborah Rosenfeld Narrative by Richard Thrift.
Honestly, I didn't expect this book to hold my attention as much as it did, considering that I knew right from the start that Deborah Rosenfeld was Debbie. I was confident that I knew how the story was going to end. However, my predictions fell flat. In fact, what I liked most about the book was the author's ability to maintain suspense till the end of the story. The author expertly keeps the reader engrossed through Reuben's ignorance, Deborah's curiosity, and the intense attraction between the two. I enjoyed how I was hooked and keen to get the answers to the questions I earlier asked.
Furthermore, I enjoyed how well developed the characters in the book are. I appreciate the author's use of conversations to give the backstories of the main characters. I was able to empathize with them, and I especially liked Deborah. She is strong and intelligent, and I know that she is beautiful due to how well the author described her. I must also commend the author for his top-notch descriptions of the environment and events. For example, I felt like I was with the characters when they hurriedly took cover from the 'Devil Dust' that hit their working site. I also enjoyed the roles that the minor characters played in the story. In fact, this book's characterization shines.
Nevertheless, I didn't enjoy some aspects of the author's writing style. I found the constant use of parentheses to be overwhelming and annoying. There seemed to be one on every page, and they even occurred in dialogues. The brackets got in the way of my reading flow because, in some cases, I had to reread the sentences to be sure of the word that came before them. I also found more than ten errors in the book, which points to poor editing. For these negatives, I am knocking a star off its rating. Therefore, I rate Portrait of Debbie: A Deborah Rosenfeld Narrative 3 out of 4 stars. I had a good time reading the book and appreciated the author's creativity, so it certainly deserves more than two stars.
I recommend the book to lovers of intriguing fictionalized stories fused with romance. Readers who love stories told from the first-person point of view would enjoy Deborah's story.
Portrait Of Debbie
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