This is the first fiction book released by Helen Ginger, and I certainly hope it is not the last. This is an author who has an intriguing story, and the writing will only get better and better.
There were some things I absolutely loved about this book, primarily the central character, Angel. She is a tough young woman whose strengths were honed on the streets after she was abandoned at age 13 and had to survive somehow, someway. On the opposite side of the toughness is the tenderness she has for other street people, especially Jodie, who suffers an assault by some stranger who is preying on vulnerable young women.
The story opens with Angel at age 22, trying to get her GED so she can go to college- one of the plans in her Planning Book. She works swimming as a mermaid in a club in Austin, and the reader gets an interesting view of what it is like to be a “mermaid”. This part is very factually correct, as the author spent some time in her past working at a club that featured mermaids, I only wish there had been a little less about that. Angel is working with some new girls, training them, and the routines of how they performed got a bit repetitious.
While I enjoyed Angel, and really enjoyed her interactions with her friend, Susan – some of the best dialogue in the book – I kept getting jarred out of the story by some research errors and some puzzling plot issues. I also found some of the flashbacks too abrupt and confusing, while others were written seamlessly.
I am glad that I did not abandon the reading when one of those errors would jerk me out of my enjoyment, as the last few chapters are very well done, and the conclusion of the story is very satisfactory. Little elements that had been mentioned throughout – Baby Celia’s garden, the ducks from Angel’s childhood, and the horrible secret she has never told anyone – are all tied together in a touching sequence of scenes.
The book is free for Kindle today, Sunday, so go grab a copy HERE
FTC disclaimer – I bought this book as a way to support a fellow author, so in that way she did benefit from this, but she did not slip me any money to write a favorable review. She didn’t slip me any money to write any kind of review. If we were simply friends, which we are, and I was not a professional reviewer, I would simply have written a fan/friend review, but that pro in me can never stop pointing out the problems – if there are any in a book – along with the good points. As a reader, I appreciate knowing the pros and cons of a book when I am considering buying it, and I try to provide that for the folks who stop by my blog to read the reviews.