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Really Ravishing Review (Strings Attached)

literati_rain66 Thursday, November 25, 2010 , ,
Review of Strings Attached, by Judy Blundell. Hardcover publication March 2011.

Quickie: Strings Attached caught me by surprise. It was a treat to read.

Full: I'll admit, Strings Attached wasn't in my 'priority' pile. But then I saw a Tweet from Literaticat, saying she enjoyed it. My interest was peaked, so I decided to pick it up. I went in cold turkey, which is more fun in my opinion. Wow. What a gem.

Normally I read books with paranormal elements, but it's refreshing to read things that are in the "normal world".

Kit Corrigan is an aspiring actress, singer, and dancer from Providence, Rhode Island. She packs her bags and heads to the city- the only city where her big dreams can come true in the 1950's- New York. She's rooming with an atrocious girl and her atrocious mother, scraping by and working in a no-name show and trying to find her big break.

Opportunity comes knocking in an unlikely form- Kit's ex-boyfriend's father. Billy, the ex, is away in the army. His father Nate is a well-known lawyer in Providence, with clients in New York as well.  He finds Kit at her theatre and offers her an apartment, free of charge, if only she'll write a letter to Billy and try to get him to come home for Thanksgiving. You see Billy and his father aren't exactly on speaking terms, and Kit is the only way that Nate has any chance of seeing his boy.

The deal seems harmless enough, and she really does need a better place to stay, so she reluctantly agrees. Quickly, Kit discovers that one little deal can lead to more, bigger, complicated deals that she can't say no to. You can't say no to the man who houses you, dresses you, and gets you one of the best jobs in town now can you? Not without losing it all anyway.

Suddenly Kit finds herself stuck between a rock and a hard place, with Nate's suspicious favors slowly increasing in danger and Kit with no other options. Plot threads cross and join and split and marry in a nail-biting ride. Skeletons come out of many closets, some from Kit's own family and many, many secrets are revealed in this delicious tale of life and troubles in the 1950's.

I loved Kit and her family. They were flawed, but honest and loving. They were all such rich, believable characters. I absolutely loved going back in time to be with them, to observe their lives and share their feelings. It never ceases to fascinate me how much I love reading historical fiction. The past is as much a mystery to me as the future or author created worlds. I've not been there, so it's new and exciting.

At first I thought the title was kind of meh, but after reading the book it made total sense and I thought it was perfect. The cover could be better, in my opinion. It didn't pull me in, or give any indication as to what the book may be like. It's pretty, but not my favorite. (Not criticizing the photographer or designer, just saying it didn't work for me) (Although on my copy you definitely cannot see the blue behind her; I think it's a curtain. If it's on the final copy, I approve. My copy, she just blends into a black background.)

Strings Attached was very well built and the suspense was doled out expertly. I wasn't in agony as to what would happen next, but I couldn't stop thinking about the story, I dreamed about the characters and put myself in the story-dream. I stayed up way too late reading it, and definitely neglected some house chores to sneak off and read. To me, that's the mark of a great book.

I'm well and truly impressed with Judy Blundell's work, and though I haven't read What I Saw And How I Lied, I now plan to.

4 out of 5 stars.


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