Diana's Reviews > Mariana

Mariana by Susanna Kearsley
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's review
Jan 18, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: library-books
Read from January 16 to 18, 2012

In spite of the lovely ending, I am a bit disappointed by this effort from Susanna Kearsley. I'd love for it to be 3.5 stars, but I just can't give it 4.

Maybe I am troubled because it was similar in concept to The Rose Garden, which was superb? The bottom line is I am bothered on a few different levels. First off, this story felt implausibly dated with the lack of technology available (cell phones, internet, etc). Entire sections of waiting for phone calls or Julia's lack of ability to research via the internet any of the folks about whom no records were found felt inappropriately stilted - even in 1994.

That aside, I also felt the story left some threads hanging. Vivien's trip to London certainly foreshadowed that plot turn, but Ms. Kearsley left us hanging on why Geoff was so very excited to call. That felt wrong, like something critical (albeit secondary) was gratuitously edited away.

Lastly, I am bothered by the fact that this romance has little to no intimacy. I don't think descriptive sexual behavior is called for, but the emotion and passion of the character should be expressed - it was done admirably well in both The Rose Garden and The Winter Sea (both of which I would consider G-rated). In this story however, it almost feels like the story abruptly stops when intimacy is needed, as if the author was self-conscious imparting those emotions of desire and regard. I barely understand why Richard loves Mariana so much that is transcends death.

Perhaps this was a first novel? Although I am disappointed, it is still a readable effort, just not on par with the later novels which are unique, brilliant and definitely worth reading.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Jennifer Jensen (Literally Jen) This one was her second novel. "Undertow" is the first.

Sarah I agree with everything you've said here Diana! I still love this author, but this one was disappointing. She definitely improved in her character development after this one.

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