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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Dangerous Neighbors

Dangerous Neighbors by Beth Kephart

Source: ARC from Egmont

Grade: 3.8 stars out of 5
After Anna's death, Katherine continues to blame herself for not being there to protect Anna, for giving up on her too soon, for losing a twin that was her closest friend. She revisits old place and new wonders at the Philadelphia Centennial fair of 1876 while running away from Bennett, Anna's lover, of a message he wants to deliver for he is a dangerous neighbor that her Papa warned them about. But Katherine has to face him eventually and now is better than later.

And then there is William. 
Dangerous Neighbors has an intimate narration that conveys a deep sense of remorse and sadness like a constant rain cloud looming over the reader. Even the most cheerful scenes is told in mourning. Perhaps by reading novel on the day predicted for a thunderstorm I was already tired before reading, but something about Dangerous Neighbors had me gently lolling off every so chapters.

For a short novel, a novella really, Dangerous Neighbors manages to fill its space as well as any 300 paged novels, and compared to some, even better. It is compact for easy access and easy carry.

The past—before Anna's death—and the present—after Anna's death— eventually blurred for me. Sometimes I find it frustrating, but the majority of the time I feel it portrays what Katherine must feel. Stuck in some form of limbo. Yet the past showcases Anna in a light that I found displeasing to read. She was incredibly selfish and self-centered that I neither pity her nor like her. Yet it makes me wonder if love can make one so incredibly selfish. It was all-consuming love that was told from the sister's point of view therefore it does nothing to the reader; I did not sigh, smile, or tsk tsk the happy couple. I was not present in those moments. Anna, in my eyes, will continue to be that selfish girl and despite being a twin to Katherine, shows a level of maturity several years younger. Katherine on the other hand is middle-aged. She is the responsible type yet appears to be lost without Anna.

Dangerous Neighbors is a well-written novella that goes in-depth describing the fair as well as letting go some of the past for the future. This was my first Beth Kephart novel, but it will definitely not be my last.

Cover B+

You can order Dangerous Neighbors: Amazon / IndieBound / Book Depository

1 comment:

  1. I really want to read this. Thanks for the reminder (and great review) Yan!