Monday, August 2, 2010
Review: Dangerous Neighbors by Beth Kephart
Dangerous Neighbors by Beth Kephart
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Although this is my first Beth Kephart novel, I've got several of her books on my TBR pile because I've heard such great things. I really wanted to read this one when I heard about it because it sounded like something right up my alley.
Overall, I would describe this novel as haunting. It's not particularly 'fun' or even entertaining. But, its a strong novel - well written and it really sticks with you!
This novel is historical fiction, Young Adult style. It's based in Philadelphia in 1876, during the Centennial in Philadelphia. The main characters are twin sisters Katherine and Anna. The story revolves around the fact that Anna dies in a tragic accident and Katherine's desire to die due to her feelings of guilt and betrayal. This doesn't really give you the true essence of the story but it does help.
The setting of the novel was amazing and so well written. Philadelphia in 1876 came alive for me as I read Kephart's beautiful prose. She gave the Centennial exquisite texture for me. I felt as if I was walking alongside the characters as they explored Philadelphia during that time.
I really related to the sense of loss and crisis that Katherine underwent during the novel. Kephart did an excellent job of making Katherine and her emotional state come alive for me. There were a number of themes in the book around salvation, loss, renewal, and personal growth. All of which I think were done extremely well in this novel and really gave me a great deal to think about.
In the end, this is a novel about betrayal and guilt, hope and despair, love, loss, and new beginnings. And it's beautifully written. I definitely recommend it if you enjoy well written novels that stay with you for a time after reading. Haunting. Yes, I think Katherine and her journey will stick with me for some time.
NOTE: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher for review.
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