05 July 2014

All the pieces were there, but...

...this book just didn't work.

I was intrigued. I wanted it to work. I really tried to like this book. The topics broached were fascinating, challenging ones. I really liked some of the characters.


...it just didn't work.

Veil of Secrets, a cooperative effort by Shannon Ethridge and Kathryn Mackel, strives to immerse its reader into the soap opera of the political campaign world, imagining what that might look like when the players are followers of Jesus as well as the challenges and very real struggles they might face.

There are several key characters, and that may have been the book's downfall. I wanted to know more about them, wanted them to come alive and become real people and not just two dimensional curiosities on the page. Yet that never happened. I was never clear if Melanie (the wife) or Carrie (the sister) was the key protagonist and was always left feeling slightly cheated, as a reader, that neither story was explored to the depth it could have been. The "terrorist threat" was cheesy and did not connect well with the other elements of the story. It wasn't even truly frightening. Most of the characters seemed more self-absorbed than truly interested in their worlds or those around them - and this was supposed to be in the context of a Christian campaign center. With the exception of Carrie, my favorite characters were ones the authors barely touched on - the therapist and the coordinator of the MoveIn protesters.

My husband asked me about the book after I put it down and my comment was something like: "All the pieces seemed to be there, but woven together, the resulting tapestry had huge gaps and thin places. Perhaps if the authors had made a longer book... or a series... with the time to truly look at the many issues they introduced, the book might have been a more satisfying read." 

It's just my opinion, but if you are considering this book, I'd have to say, "Don't bother..."

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. 

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