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Book Review – Remodeling Eve by Helen Kantor

Posted by mcm0704 on May 31, 2015 |

remodeling Eve CoverRemodeling Eve
Helen Kantor
File Size: 618 KB
Print Length: 219 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Treeline Press (October 10, 2014)
ASIN: B00OEER3O4

 

Quick Story Synopsis: In an effort to compensate for her own mother’s abandonment, Eve Tilden has let her daughter, Audrey, indulge in childish obsessions with mythical creatures for too long. Just seventeen, Audrey refuses to step toward womanhood, preferring the world of make-believe to the real one.

Carl, Eve’s husband focuses on a solo photography exhibition for Daphne, Eve’s mother. He is determined to treat Audrey like she is a normal teenager.

When preparing for the kitchen remodel, Eve uncovers a box of concert t-shirts at the back of her closet that unleash memories of the life she had before Carl.

Demolition disrupts the house, upsetting Audrey in alarming ways. But as Nick, their contractor and a stunning young surfer, becomes part of the household Eve’s rebel self makes a comeback. Inspired by her rock concert past, Eve finds an unconventional way to seduce Audrey out of the isolation and fantasy that hold her captive.

Review:  Stories told in alternating chapters by two main characters have become quite popular in the past few years, and I like that technique. It’s always interesting to hear the story from two voices, and I appreciate when the author truly makes those voices unique. This author did just that.

Audrey is very childlike and her narrative reflects that somewhat immature view of life. While it is never said outright, Audrey probably has Asperger’s, so the way she relates to things around her is different from her peers and her family. How she deals with the changes in her life, especially the remodel of the kitchen, was the most engaging part of the story for me.

It was harder for me to connect with Eve, but I did like the correlation between the changes in the house, the changes in Audrey, and the changes that Eve experienced. The dynamics between the three generations of women, Daphne, Eve and Audrey were also compelling, and how all the plot threads were all woven together worked well.

While I found all the craft elements so well done, from description to dialogue to characters, I was aghast at the decision Eve made to bring Audrey into adulthood. As a mother, I couldn’t imagine ever making such a decision, so Eve the mother became less real to me at that point. Still, the story was so compelling, that I had to read to the end to find out how that decision affected Audrey.

About the Author: Helen Kantor has taught graduate and undergraduate writing courses, coached writers to develop their craft, and harnessed storytelling to develop social media and win grants for nonprofits and universities. Remodeling Eve is her debut novel. She holds an MFA in Screenwriting from UCLA, a BA from UC Santa Cruz, and she lives in the Los Angeles area. You can find out more about her on her Website

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