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I love Mary DiNunzio stories because of the optimism and humor of the big Italian family. Lisa Scottoline usually blends history, family, humor, and intrigue together so that i feel good.
Not so with this book.
At first I thought it could be the downer reader--a good reader, but not reading Mary, certainly! This reader was a depressed woman with very little humor or happiness in her voice.
Then as the story progressed, I realized that this read was perfect for this depressing story. Instead of being excited, educated, and entertained like I usually am when embedded in the family with 3 Tonys, I found myself in family court, a place I avoid at all costs. Frustration and anxiety reigned, and for the 1st time I almost found myself unable to finish a book with my favorite family in it!
Then I realized, "Hey! Lisa probably didn't even write this book! Maybe she has a daughter who feels like the world hasn't given her a good break, like so many successful women have, and the daughter wrote the story!" Once I decided that Lisa Scottoline didn't even write the book, I felt better, and decided that I could still be a fan.
Mary's usual vivacious and outrageous character was just not present. Lisa could not suspend my disbelief that 10 days before an Italian wedding all Mary would be doing is brooding and worrying and trying to foster a child who could be violent and horrible, while her fiance doesn't want the kid around.
The writer throws her fiance to California so he doesn't have to be written into the story because the story itself is so ridiculous, he would never put up with it! A young woman who's getting married and has a full-time job can just run around and think of nothing but this kid. No work, making no money, not talking to her fiance or wedding party. Not a thought of her fiance or the wedding, just this kid. Lisa makes up this ridiculous premise that the fiance and she are not talking because of a job offer. At the beginning of the story, Mary thinks about how stupid it was that she had to do everything for the wedding, that she had no wedding planner, and then BOOM. She does nothing for the wedding. So unbelievable!
No humor, no fun, no Mary DiNunzio here.
Lisa! I say that if you're tired of writing about these people, then don't. But don't let someone write a book that ruins the characters!
13 of 13 people found this review helpful
This is book fifteen in the Rosate Associates series or book four since Mary DiNuzio was made a partner. This is an issues novel about the problems of children with dyslexia and also about foster care. The story takes place in Philadelphia as do all the books in the series. Mary is going to be getting married in two weeks and in the meantime she takes on a new case of a ten-year-old boy, Patrick O’Brien, who cannot read. The public school has provided no special education for him and he is the target of bullies. Patrick was also the victim of physical and sexual abuse by a teacher’s aide. Patrick’s grandfather dies and Mary is attempting to obtain temporary guardianship but someone is out to kill her. Anthony is not happy with her attempting to bring the boy into their lives. So is the wedding going to happen?
The book is well written and the suspense builds steadily throughout the book. There is the usual Scottoline humor with Mary’s big Italian family. This is the third book, I think, about Mary. The series started with Benny Rosate and I would love to have Scottoline write more about Rosate; she seems to have been lost in the last 6 books or so. I have read all the books in the series and have enjoyed them.
Rebecca Lowman did a good job narrating the book. Lowman is a stage, film and television actress who narrates audiobooks. It seems almost every book has a different narrator. When books are in a series I prefer to have one narrator for all the books. All the narrators in the series have been excellent but publishers please try for just one.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful