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Melanie Dugan is the author of three novels, Dead Beautiful (Upstart Press, 2012) Revising Romance (Sumach Press, 2004), and Sometime Daughter (Second Story Press, 2002). Her short story, “A Map of the Human Heart,” was shortlisted for the CBC Literary Contest.
Melanie’s writing has appeared in Toronto Life, The North American Review, the Kingston Whig-Standard, and other magazines.
Melanie has studied at the University of Toronto’s Writers’ Workshop, the Humber School for Writers, and the Banff Centre for the Arts.
Born in San Francisco, Melanie grew up in Boston, Toronto and London, England. She lives in Kingston, Ontario with her family.
on July 11, 2014 :
Did I enjoy this book: Yes, no, kind of. I’m not sure.
I’m deeply conflicted about writing a review on this book. First, I’ll say it was a well-written, thoughtful story. The characters were lovable and sympathetic. The scene and story idea were wonderfully original.
There were so many good components in this novel. Unfortunately for me, it missed one crucial element – passion. It was like the time I made a tuna casserole and forgot to add the tuna.
Early in the story, a young girl’s mother goes missing. We learn later that the father knew his wife left him and filed for divorce. They both thought it best to simply tell the girl nothing. Initially, everyone acted like Mom was coming back. Melissa, our young protagonist, has to figure it out on her own.
This plot is carried out too casually. There were a few scenes where Melissa fights back tears and wonders about her mom, but that was about it.
One exception came toward the end of the story when Melissa, as an adult, discovered the letters her mother mailed to her father years before. I won’t discuss precisely what happens, but it did break my heart and made me angry. Sadly, it was too little, too late.
Would I recommend it: Some readers may enjoy a really low-key story — maybe something to read before bed. It’d be okay for that. Otherwise I’d suggest checking it out of the library and reading the last two chapters.
As reviewed by Belinda at Every Free Chance Books.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
(reviewed 68 days after purchase)