Welcome to the

Random words, pictures and thoughts of one who always wishes to be on the mind's road to discovery!

About Me

My photo
Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Monday, January 12, 2015

A Good Book That Could Use More Proof Reading and Correction

Buried SecretsBuried Secrets by Cheryl Kennedy
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It is very difficult to review and rate this book. Let me begin with the plot and characters. The root of the plot is the single-minded pursuit of a dream from young manhood into old age by Chester Eastwick, an affluent Newport businessman. His obsession to find washed up artifacts and coins from ships that foundered off the coast of Rhode Island has, for over 30 years, led him to commit acts and make choices that have been secrets throughout most of his life. In addition, these choices and acts have had debilitating affects on his wife and two daughters, leading to even more family secrets. At the heart of the plot is the seaside cottage that he'd wanted to buy so that he might have access to the beach which has a very good possibility of having the buried treasure he desires. Unfortunately for Chester his daughter, Katherine bought the property before she died and it has since passed down through the family, becoming ever more inaccessible to him. The last family member to own the cottage, his grandson, Chase, has just died in an auto accident on the coastal road near the cottage and Chase's fiancé, Emily, is in the process of moving in. Chase's father, Phillip, had been rather distant with Chase and is, at least indirectly, responsible for Katherine's death. This is one of his secrets and is a source of friction between him and Chester, his employer as well as father-in-law. Needless to say, the secrets hidden among the family members from each other as well as outsiders has caused tensions and forced each of them to make life choices geared to keep these things hidden.

Even Ms Kennedy has a secret. She has chosen to call one of her other characters " the man". This fellow hires a seedy ex-con to act as an investigator of sorts. Riley is hired to search the cottage and its surroundings as well as keep an eye on Emily and those who come to visit her. His discovery beneath the floorboards of one of the bedrooms deepens the mystery. Who is " the man " and why his interest in the cottage and this family?

The imagery of Phillip and Emily's careful excavation of the beach around an outcropping of rock to unearth pieces from long ago shipwrecks produces the same type of anticipation in the reader as the revealing of the buried secrets of the title through the unraveling of the clues. In the end of both searches there is the elation of discovery and the satisfaction of a happy conclusion.

Each of the characters is so well drawn that even the ones who are dead are three dimensional. Though never having met Katherine or her sister, Sarah, so to speak, the reader recognizes their personalities and finds them believable. Thus from the viewpoint of plot and its development and characterization, this is a wonderfully interesting book that is easy to read and satisfying.

Yet, when I was about a quarter of the way through it, I contacted the author to ask if this were an ARC, I found so many typos and usage errors. She said that it was not and that she felt closely adhering to grammatical rules often resulted in stilted dialogue and she wanted a natural flow of words. I accepted that. She went on to say that she also was not terribly concerned with the few words that got by spell check. She just loved to write and hadn't been making much money from the effort but that was not her main goal in writing anyway. All of this made sense to me, but I love reading and these glitches were jolting and broke the flow of the story. I continued to read a few more chapters and almost put the book aside to move to something else.

Two things kept me going: 1.I am a retired science teacher and can't help myself-my fingers itch to grab my red pen and circle those things that need correcting. But, I told myself, most of the readers would not be teachers with the same viewpoint. 2. I loved the story, was dying to know who " the man " was ( I got it wrong ), and wanted to know how it was all going to end.

So, I finished the book, but felt as though I had read a rough, first draft or, at best, a semi-polished second draft, not a polished, finished product, which this is, according to Ms Kennedy. In that regard, then, I must say that I'm happy this was a free Goodreads giveaway rather than a $17 Amazon purchase. Had it been proofread and corrected better I would have given it four stars.

View all my reviews

No comments:

Post a Comment