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Formats
Kindle Edition eBooks Details
  • B00Q0OCRBA
  • 208 pages
  • $2.99
Woman with a Parasol
Libby Malin, author
A story that explores the depths of maternal love.... When Toni (Antoinette) cons her reluctant thirty-two-year-old daughter, Belle Norton, into accompanying her on a trip to France, mother and daughter spar about everything from how Belle dresses to her favorite painter, Monet. As they fight and make up over and over again, Belle comes to realize Toni has lured her on this journey to reveal an old secret that threatens to shake her world. To add to her stress, Belle deals with her own motherhood issues as she stays in touch with teen daughter Alyson, who is unhappy over Belle's plans to divorce Alyson's dad, Max. Mother and daughter, daughter and mother make their way through the gardens of their own love stories, encountering thorns that prick and beauty that enriches beyond measure. Award-winning author Libby Malin has penned a funny, sweet story that holds at its core an age-old mystery: What is the depth of a mother's love?
Plot/Idea: 8 out of 10
Originality: 9 out of 10
Prose: 8 out of 10
Character/Execution: 7 out of 10
Overall: 8.00 out of 10

Assessment:

Plot: Malin’s plot is a fast-paced, whirlwind journey through France for protagonist  Belle and her mother. The storyline quickly unfolds to reveal several family mysteries as both Belle and her mother harbor secrets from one another with the intentions of preserving personal dignity. Much of the plot is flimsily centered around Belle’s infatuation (bordering on obsession) with Claude Monet and his work, which can overshadow the more alluring content--notably, a mother’s attempts to bond with her daughters and the disclosure of a dark family affair.

Prose: While there are moments of eloquent writing with exceptional flow, much of Malin’s novel is expressed through back-and-forth international phone calls between Belle and her family, and two love interests, ex-husband Max and former beau Dominic. These dialogue-heavy passages distract from more thoughtful musings and reflections on human nature, which are infused with a spritely--at times sarcastic--sense of humor.

Originality: Malin’s storyline is certainly original, though the focus on romantic entanglements and self-discovery is reminiscent of works of inspirational romance. The central focus on Belle and her mother’s feuds over Monet is unique, if overemphasized.

Character Development: Characters are intricately and meticulously fleshed out, from vivid physical descriptions to their personal introspection. The reveal of a hard-hitting family secret brings the novel closure, however unsettling and unfulfilling, to both Belle and readers.

Date Submitted: July 22, 2018

Formats
Kindle Edition eBooks Details
  • B00Q0OCRBA
  • 208 pages
  • $2.99

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