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Between a Wolf and a Dog : Book Review

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Between a Wolf and a Dog
by Georgia Blain
★★★✰✰ 3 stars

This novel had a really strong start: Blain’s style was compelling and brought her story to life.
However, as the narrative progresses, I started to notice that the language and descriptions could be very repetitive and, at times, even overdone.
Although there are flashbacks and chapters set in the past, the majority of the story chronicles one single day. The focus is on Ester, a family therapist, her mother Hilary, who is a filmmaker, her estranged sister April, who is a singer, and Ester’s ex-husband Lawrence. The characters are portrayed with exquisite detail and within the space of a few pages their personalities are richly rendered. They all going through long moments of introspection, where they examine their present, past, and possible futures. The rift between Ester and April is one of the central aspects of the novel.
Failed ambitions, forgiveness, and loneliness are a common thread between these characters. They might not be extremely likeable but they seemed, for the most part, incredibly human.
I enjoyed the role that art has in this novel. At times the narrative pokes fun at the pretentiousness that exists in the ‘art world’, while in other occasions it embraced the creative process.
Sadly, halfway through I found that both the writing and the characters to be slightly more dramatic then what was necessary. All the women are ‘golden’ and ‘beautiful’, with ‘golden hair’ and ‘golden skin’, they are ethereal beauties….Lawrence is also incredibly handsome. It wouldn’t have bothered me if this had not been repeated throughout the course of the novel.
Also, there were many times where the writing seemed excessive. We have at least three instances were someone wants to ‘drink’ someone in (they specify ‘teeth’ and all). Everything was magnified to intensify certain feelings.
An absorbing start leads into a self-indulgent litany.

Read more reviews on my blog or View all my reviews

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