Saturday, February 13, 2010
The Edge of Recall
Title: The Edge of Recall
Author: Kristin Heitzmann
From the back cover:
Tessa Young is a landscape architect who specializes in the design and creation of labyrinths. For years she has immersed herself in the healing aspects of these elaborate structures, searching for God and hoping to make sense of the nightmares that have plagued her since childhood.
When Smith Chandler, a colleague who once betrayed her, offers her an opportunity to reconstruct a remarkable Colonial-era labyrinth, she can't resist this project of a lifetime. But one evening, as dusk falls, an assailant ambushes Tessa and Smith and the real nightmare begins.
I really liked this book immensely. Start with the cover. It fit the book perfectly. The model captures Tessa's fragility, fear and yet a spark of determination as well. Tessa is a heroine that cannot be accused of being too perfect, and yet is likeable, endearing and you want to root for her. Her fear is genuine and the monsters she faces seem to come from all sides. I don't know that I'd have her strength in the same position.
The author does just as good a job with all the other major players in this story. None of them are flat, predictable or perfect. I think this is one of the best jobs of characterization I've seen in a book. They really are unique. Will the real Smith Chandler please stand up? Tessa thinks he's cold-hearted and never cared for her or her ideas. His intern, Bair believes he's still in love with his ex-girlfriend, and in front of his clients he tries to become whatever will please them and keep his career on track. Normally self possessed and controlled, he makes uncharacteristic decisions having to do with both Tessa and his old flame, Danae. Throw in that his idea of a romantic gesture is to compare her to vegetables... and I think you've got a unique leading man.
I'm a character and romance person. I don't want to give anything away, but I loved that the romance is not held off until the end. It isn't resolved (they don't get married in Chapt 2), and they face lots of conflict and have obstacles to overcome ~ but the idea and the tension... the sparks... that is there from almost the very beginning. You watch it grow and evolve to see where it will lead. I think it is a much more realistic romance than one where they share a single kiss at the end and then get married and live happily ever after.
I already mentioned the main characters, and the extras are just as good. She keeps you guessing right up until the very end who you can trust and who might be trying to hurt Tessa. That's partly because of how she writes the story, and partly how she reveals the characters to us. Not one is all good or all bad (just like us) ~ and depending upon what we choose to dwell on, that may be how we see that person.
This is an older book, but it was well worth reading. I'm a huge fan and I hope if you haven't read this that you'll consider checking it out.
Posted by Margaret Metz at 4:51 AM