Official Review: The Bennett Women by Roberta R. Carr

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NadineTimes10
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Official Review: The Bennett Women by Roberta R. Carr

Post by NadineTimes10 »

[Following is the official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Bennett Women" by Roberta R. Carr.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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In author Roberta R. Carr’s novel The Bennett Women, three generations of women reach a decisive point that could make or break their future as individuals and as a family. Muriel Bennett, an aging grandmother and artist, dreads the possibility that she may have to leave her home and move into an assisted living facility. Susanne Bennett—mother, divorcee, and savvy CEO—needs to make an international business trip, but a professional challenge is not all that awaits her overseas. Lilia Bennett-Parker, the daughter of divorced parents and a senior at a music conservatory, is under family pressures that are taking a toll on her growth as a cellist.

As the Bennett women’s storylines unfold, the author gives a fitting amount of time to each, developing and intertwining them naturally. Muriel, Susanne, and Lilia are well-crafted characters with talents, flaws, solid backstories, and realistic motives. Also, the minor characters have their own challenges and add interesting, important pieces to the novel without detracting from the Bennetts. Even with all that’s happening simultaneously with the characters, major and minor, the story never feels jumbled or as if it’s idling or steering off course.

There’s a quiet strength in Carr’s writing style. Although the author deals with some serious and tragic issues, the novel doesn’t become primarily dark or depressing. It incorporates a good helping of lighter and uplifting moments, and the inclusion of its Christmas theme would also make it an appropriate holiday read.

Though not all of the many section breaks within the chapters may be necessary, the novel has a smooth, easy flow as a whole. However, while the story’s turning point is beautiful, its pacing isn’t the most believable. When someone has been thinking or feeling a particular way for years, shifting away from those thought patterns and uprooting deep-seated emotions is oftentimes a slow process. Once the story’s central conflict comes to a head, it seems the Bennetts would’ve needed more time to make their attitude adjustments.

Also, the novel includes a blossoming romance, but even with the mutual attraction it depicts, the romance has a bit of a lopsided feel. One party shares much about her thoughts, feelings, and the experiences she’s having, and the other party listens but doesn’t reveal much about himself, at least not in the dialogue. He inwardly reasons that there’s “no need to rush their love,” but the reference to love seems abrupt. Granted, the situation is understandable enough for the two characters involved, especially since it’s built on their past. Still, the reader doesn’t get to witness that past firsthand or through flashback scenes. With only the characters’ current, somewhat uneven interaction portrayed in detail, although the romance is sweet, it lacks a certain impact.

Overall, I give The Bennett Women a rating of 3 out of 4 stars. Despite its weaker points, the novel handles substantive themes of life, love, mortality, forgiveness, and joy with warmth and simplicity. I’d recommend this book to anyone who enjoys hopeful stories about family, especially readers of women’s fiction.

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The Bennett Women
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Post by Roberta Carr »

Thank you, Nadine, for your thoughtful review. I can tell you put a lot of time in analyzing the story. I appreciate you helping me along my writing journey. I learn so much from people like you, and will take those learnings with me into my next project.
Best wishes, Roberta
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Post by NadineTimes10 »

Oh, you're more than welcome, Roberta! It's refreshing for me to come across books like yours. :)
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Post by bookowlie »

Well-written, insightful review! I like that you said that the author balanced out the serious topics with uplighting sections. Also, everyone likes a little Christmas injected in a story. :)
"The best way out is always through" - Robert Frost
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Post by NadineTimes10 »

bookowlie wrote:Also, everyone likes a little Christmas injected in a story. :)
I consider it to be The Holiday of All Holidays. :D Thanks, Owlie!
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Post by bookowlie »

Oops, meant to say uplifting sections, not uplighting!
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Post by NadineTimes10 »

bookowlie wrote:Oops, meant to say uplifting sections, not uplighting!
And I didn't even notice! A typo well-played. :lol:
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Post by erasmus »

Wow, this is a really brilliant review! I like how you mentioned that the Bennetts needed more time to adjust their attitudes. I feel that it's a really important point, especially if the shift in attitudes and beliefs are so sudden suspension of disbelief is required. Overall, your review really made this book sound like it's an excellent read for a Sunday afternoon when nothing but the book matters.
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Post by NadineTimes10 »

erasmus wrote:Wow, this is a really brilliant review!... Overall, your review really made this book sound like it's an excellent read for a Sunday afternoon when nothing but the book matters.
Oh, thank you kindly! And, yes, it's a weekend afternoon, curl-up-with-a-cup-of-coffee kind of book.

A pity I don't drink coffee. :)
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Post by zeldas_lullaby »

Great review! Insightful.
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Post by NadineTimes10 »

zeldas_lullaby wrote:Great review! Insightful.
Thanks for reading!
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Post by Tanaya »

Your constructive criticism was so well done. Great, balanced review!
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Post by NadineTimes10 »

Tanaya wrote:Your constructive criticism was so well done. Great, balanced review!
Striking a balance can be quite the challenge sometimes, so thank you!
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Post by chytach18- »

Great review, Nadine. You allowed us to get a feel of the book without revealing too much. Congratulation to Roberta.
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Post by Roberta Carr »

Thank you, chytach18! The book was a labor of love to write. Best wishes, Roberta
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