Monday, December 05, 2011

Another One of Those Like-The-Premise-Not-So-Much-the Execution Kind of Books

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Raine O'Rourke knows her mother used to be a bit of a wild child. She's heard the stories about her young, hippie Mama standing barefoot on European street corners playing her guitar. But that was a long time ago. Now, Molly O'Rourke's just a regular mom. Which is why her sudden decision to spend the summer working as a housekeeper at a remote artist's colony doesn't make any sense. As much as Raine wants to stay in Milwaukie with her beloved Grandpa Mac, her mother isn't giving her a choice. They'll both be spending the summer at Sparrow Road.

Spooked by the estate's creepy main house, irritated by the colony's ridiculous no-talking rules and lonesome for everything she left behind, Raine's pretty sure she's going to hate Sparrow Road. But as she gets to know the artists who live there, she starts to feel more at home. And when she hears an elderly poet talking about the children who live on the estate, Raine's intrigued. She hasn't seen anyone under 30 at Sparrow Road. The mystery, which seems to revolve around the estate's secret history, intrigues her.

Raine's even more puzzled by her mother's odd behavior. Molly keeps Raine sequestered at Sparrow Road, refusing to let her explore the nearby town or go to any of the community's summertime activities. It makes no sense. Until Molly finally confesses why she really brought rain to the artist's colony. Suddenly, Raine's up to her elbows in old secrets. Can she find all the answers she's searching for? More importantly, what will she do with these revelations, especially the one that could change her life forever?

Sparrow Road by Sheila O'Connor is one of those like-the-premise-not-so-much-the-execution type of books. While I thought the premise of this one sounded interesting, I didn't feel a lot of connection to the characters, the setting or even really the plot. I know a lot of people love Sparrow Road, but I just wasn't feeling it. It's nothing I can put my finger on, though, more a kind of ambivalence. I didn't love it, didn't hate it. For me, it was just okay.

(Readalikes: Nothing's coming to mind. Any ideas?)

Grade: C

If this were a movie, it would be rated: PG for mature themes

To the FTC, with love: Another library fine find

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