Sarah's Reviews > Juniper, Gentian, and Rosemary

Juniper, Gentian, and Rosemary by Pamela Dean
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's review
Feb 21, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction
Read in March, 2008

Dean has a fantastic knack for describing place, and she creates one of the most amusing family houses I've ever read in Juniper, Gentian and Rosemary. I wish I lived in that house, with its wall to wall books and endless room for any pursuit one might care to take on, including astronomy.

The place is so strong, and the group of sisters (plus their educated parents) who live there so vivid that it puts a screeching halt on story development. By the time we figure out what the mysterious boy who lives next door has been up to (for the last two hundred-some pages), it is a bit of a letdown, because any build-up of daily life requires a tremendous payoff, and the conclusion here is blurred at best. It's hard, even, to really say what happens to our heroine, Gentian, in her showdown with Damien, because it all ends so quickly, and is wiped from our minds like a white-out transition during a movie screening.

Regardless of that, however, I would recommend this book because the characters are entertaining, and so engrossing, one rarely has to worry about the plot until its discolored climax appears.

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