Holley Rubinsky's Reviews > The Whirling Girl

The Whirling Girl by Barbara Lambert
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's review
May 11, 2013

liked it

No writer pulls off flirtation scenes like Barbara Lambert. I was hooked by the excitement of Clare, inheriting an estate from her uncle in Tuscany and meeting the charmers she did. Lambert has a luscious writing style, full of glorious description of even the tiniest objects; and she knows plants and has done her historical research. Each character is a study in how to delineate and individuate characters -- you will keep track of them all. And just enough sex and some over-the-top romance.
Where the book teetered, for me, was in the integration of Clare's background story (no, I'm not going to tell) into what or who she chooses in the end. I was confused in the last sixth of the book about why certain things were happening (I also worried that Clare was exhausted from her exploits). I wanted one clear ending -- (oh, don't we all); it felt as though Lambert had so many possibilities that she couldn't choose, so there was uncertainty, toward the finish, of what the intention of the book was -- literary? popular high-flying romance with substance?
Oddly, the cover is beautiful but did not, to my eye, represent Clare or the events in the book. Lambert is such a good writer, I'm filled with admiration. I am looking forward to A Message for Mr Lazarus. Lambert's website is worth a good look.
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Reading Progress

May 11, 2013 – Started Reading
May 11, 2013 – Shelved
May 11, 2013 –
page 55
14.47% "So far, such intelligent prose, intriguing characters, Tuscany revisited through an academic, archaeologic point of view.Yes!"
May 12, 2013 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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message 1: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Lambert Thanks for the perceptive review, Holley. Interesting caveats. I'm glad the novel made you ponder, and that -- like the question of the Etruscans, which so pervades the book -- or for that matter like life itself -- it posed more questions than answers.
By the way, A Message for Mr. Lazarus is coming out in an e-edition this fall.

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