A brother recalls the magnificent life of his sister, the greatest writer of her age.
A launch party is underway for a hotly anticipated biography, the life story of Elena Franklin. As a young woman, Elena was one of the most promising literary talents of the 1920s, and over the years her legend grew. Her biographer, Martha Farrell, has combed through all the evidence of Elena’s genius and passion, from her early years in New York to her expatriate life in Paris. The result is a monumental work - but among the party’s crowd is the man who knows the book is an empty shell.
Only William, Elena’s brother, knew the truth about the famed author. Martha’s flawed biography spurs his memory, and he recalls how the temperamental baby grew into a legend. He knew Elena’s hidden pain, shared their family secrets, and draws his own portrait of the troubled soul that lay behind her artistic gifts.
I am a huge fan of Thomas H. Cook. I find his works, usually, engaging and thoughtful. This was one of his early works, perhaps before he developed the style I have so come to enjoy. Mr. Cook typically gives us some hint of mystery or disaster to come; there was none here. This was just a very long, rambling account of a sister's life told through the eyes of her older brother. And it was not an interesting life, either! This amazingly boring account was not helped by the narrator. I'm not sure if that's his normal reading style or if he was trying to emulate an 80 year-old-man or if he was trying to for a perceived style of speech through the early part of the 20th century. The result - for me - was Forrest Gump without the accent. This is the very first Thomas Cook novel I have not found to be excellent. I would recommend his work in a heartbeat, just not this one.
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