Official Review: The Deacon's Daughter by Felipe Alvarez

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Official Review: The Deacon's Daughter by Felipe Alvarez

Post by Kibetious » 01 Mar 2019, 08:11

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Deacon's Daughter" by Felipe Alvarez.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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The Deacon’s Daughter was written by Felipe Alvarez and was published in 2018. It is approximately 200 pages long. The book can be classified in the genre of other fiction. Felipe Alvarez is an author, architect, musician, and also a raconteur. He has authored other books that include Tales of My Medina and Other Shosh Kebab and Tails of the Hollywood Hills. His expertise in storytelling can be seen clearly in this fairly short book.

The Deacon’s Daughter is a book describing a mother-daughter rivalry. The rivalry is evident in all conversations the two engage in. Whether on a phone call or face-face dialogue, mother and daughter inevitably conclude their conversations with a disagreement. The two seem to be close, yet they are separated by a big chasm. The mother is desperately yearning to see her daughter but no matter how she intentionally tries to maintain her calmness as they talk, she finds herself and her daughter becoming embittered. Mary Elizabeth Manchester, commonly known as Betty, is a widow in her 70s. Her husband, Deacon John Manchester, passed on four years ago. Catherine Manchester Ruiz, Elizabeth’s daughter, is fifty two-years-old. She is married to Alfredo Ruiz, an independent contractor. The setting of the story is in a wealthy retirement community. What is causing the emotional tension between Betty and Cathy? Will they enter into an agreement or will the chasm continue widening?

While the story lacks a lot of actions, it vividly describes the plight of the vulnerable elderly, especially those living in assisted living communities. They are often neglected by their family members, including their children. The situation becomes more distressing if they have lost their spouses. Nobody seems to care about them. Ironically, the same people who do not care for them are the ones who assume they comprehend what is best for them. This is exactly what is contained in this story. This book has the ability to challenge the decisions sometimes made without the consent of the elderly. An example would be the impact of moving an elderly person from a place they have grown fond of to a relatively unfamiliar place. The book is packed with prudent and thought-provoking statements, and most of them are still lingering in my mind.

The characters in the book were properly developed. One can easily identify with them as they struggle with their well-founded fears and uncertainties. They are engaged in everyday mundane activities. Some have developed established routines that can easily be foretold. Apart from Cathy and her husband, most of them are living together in the assisted living community. They are used to sharing their stories and experiences. One of the characters was Roger. Roger is a witty person, and so he helped to bring out the humor in the book. When he speaks, people begin laughing. However, he neither recognizes nor accepts the fact that he is hilarious. His words made the conversations more interesting. There is much more to be said about the other characters but time and space will not allow doing so.

The book was professionally edited. I discovered only two grammatical errors. However, there were some striking instances of poor transitions between some scenes. All the other events in the story rotated around similar thing as well. Consequently, the characters are what kept me glued to the book. The ending of the story was something I never foresaw of course which is what I also relished about the book. Therefore, I rate it 3 out of 4 stars. I conscientiously recommend the book to all fans of other fiction books. It will appeal most to those who genuinely enjoy reading character-driven books.

******
The Deacon's Daughter
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Post by kandscreeley » 12 Mar 2019, 07:57

This one seems more character-driven than plot-driven. Sometimes I enjoy a good story about tension between two characters. There are enough odd mother/daughter relationships out there to make this one quite realistic. Thanks for a good review.
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Post by Jaime Lync » 12 Mar 2019, 10:41

I agree with Kandscreeley, this seems character-driven. I think that it is important to develop characters well in the event that there is not a lot of action in the plot...
This was a good review. Thanks.

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Post by Kibetious » 12 Mar 2019, 12:34

kandscreeley wrote:
12 Mar 2019, 07:57
This one seems more character-driven than plot-driven. Sometimes I enjoy a good story about tension between two characters. There are enough odd mother/daughter relationships out there to make this one quite realistic. Thanks for a good review.
It had never occurred to my mind that this could be a true reflection of the society. Thanks a lot for the reply. I am sincerely grateful.
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Post by Kibetious » 12 Mar 2019, 12:40

Jaime Lync wrote:
12 Mar 2019, 10:41
I agree with Kandscreeley, this seems character-driven. I think that it is important to develop characters well in the event that there is not a lot of action in the plot...
This was a good review. Thanks.
Very true. If there is no plot to follow, then there is a great need for quality character development. Thanks too for the feedback on the review.
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Post by ElizaBeth Adams » 13 Mar 2019, 07:49

Our lives are usually consumed with mudane tasks and complicated relationships. It does sound like this book is a good reflection of real life. It also focuses on a valuable topic. I like that it draws attention to how the elderly are treated, and sounds like it seeks to have us think twice about how we treat our own elderly loved ones. I am interested in reading this book. Thanks for the informative review.

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Post by Bianka Walter » 14 Mar 2019, 05:12

"Ironically, the same people who do not care for them are the ones who assume they comprehend what is best for them."
This is such a good point. I also think it happens more often than we think.
I really enjoyed your review, Kibetious! Thanks :)
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Post by nooregano » 14 Mar 2019, 12:00

Mother-daughter rivalry is a very sensitive theme to explore. It needs to be done masterfully, with great nuance to cover all possible moral implications. I'm glad that the characters were well-developed, vulnerable and wonderfully human: that's usually a good indicator that it's a responsible book. It sounds like an honest read. Thanks for this review, it was very insightful!
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Post by AKShanmar12 » 14 Mar 2019, 16:20

Thanks for your summary. As I love character driven books, and it sounds like this covers the period of time that I am in my life right now with my parents, I will have to put this on my "need to read" list.

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Post by Kibetious » 14 Mar 2019, 23:55

Bianka Walter wrote:
14 Mar 2019, 05:12
"Ironically, the same people who do not care for them are the ones who assume they comprehend what is best for them."
This is such a good point. I also think it happens more often than we think.
I really enjoyed your review, Kibetious! Thanks :)
It is very true. I had not seen the reality that the book could be a true reflection of our society. Thanks a lot for the reply, Bianka. I am grateful.
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Post by Kibetious » 14 Mar 2019, 23:58

nooregano wrote:
14 Mar 2019, 12:00
Mother-daughter rivalry is a very sensitive theme to explore. It needs to be done masterfully, with great nuance to cover all possible moral implications. I'm glad that the characters were well-developed, vulnerable and wonderfully human: that's usually a good indicator that it's a responsible book. It sounds like an honest read. Thanks for this review, it was very insightful!
Thanks a lot, Nooregano. I am gratefulf for the reply. It is true that when the characters are vulnerable and human, the book becomes more enjoyable and also seems more authentic. It is a nice read that you will definitely enjoy.
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Post by Kibetious » 15 Mar 2019, 00:03

AKShanmar12 wrote:
14 Mar 2019, 16:20
Thanks for your summary. As I love character driven books, and it sounds like this covers the period of time that I am in my life right now with my parents, I will have to put this on my "need to read" list.
Thanks for reading the review and also taking time to pen down your reply. I am grateful. It is a good book indeed and I am sure that you will benefit a lot.
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Post by unamilagra » 18 Mar 2019, 12:27

Thank you for a very well thought out and articulate review! It sounds like the characters were very well developed, even if the plot was a bit lacking. I love when books are thought provoking enough that I am left thinking about them even after I finish.

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Post by Sarah Tariq » 19 Mar 2019, 02:18

The plot of this is unique and interesting. But I am disappointed with a bad relationship between the mother and daughter. It is a very spiritual and selfless relationship. Anyways, thanks for this wonderful review.
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Post by Kibetious » 20 Mar 2019, 02:50

unamilagra wrote:
18 Mar 2019, 12:27
Thank you for a very well thought out and articulate review! It sounds like the characters were very well developed, even if the plot was a bit lacking. I love when books are thought provoking enough that I am left thinking about them even after I finish.
Thanks a lot for the feedback. I also like reading such books. I hope you will consider reading this too.
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