Monday, March 28, 2011

Strings Attached - In More Ways Than One


Strings Attached is Judy Blundell's follow up novel to her book What I Saw and How I Lied, a National Book Award finalist. Last year I finally got around to reading it and loved it. When I saw that Blundell had a new book coming out I was eager to read it. And, even more exciting, Amazon sent me the book review as part of their Amazon Vine program. So, Strings Attached, Blundell's book is being reviewed with some strings attached. The Vine program works by sending out books for review to those who have already reviewed a large number of items on Amazon's website. When reviewers have reviewed the items they have been sent, they will receive more items to review.

Strings Attached by Blundell is the first book I am reviewing for Amazon Vine. Nothing will be different about my review than any other, except the fact that I am reviewing this book in a more timely manner, something I hope to keep up.

Kit and her triplet brother, Jamie, and sister, Muddie are being raised by their father in the late 1940s. In 1950 Kit sets off to make it big as a dancer, leaving her Providence, Rhode Island home for New York. She and her boyfriend, Billy, have broken up and Billy and Jamie have enlisted to go to fight the Korean war. Billy's father, Nate, an attorney with mob connections approaches Kit and pays for her apartment and clothing in exchange for her help from time to time. Snippets of Kit's life prior to 1950 and Nate's connection to her family are revealed in chapters taking place in earlier years. Just as in What I Saw..., Blundell has several secrets that are revealed, creating a few twists in the story I didn't see coming.

Blundell was able to re-create life in 1950, New York for an aspiring dancer. Kit had dreams of making it big on her own, and her life in New York seems exciting and a bit glamourous. Including Hank and his family, who became Kit's neighbor in the apartment she lived in, created a couple affected by the Red Scare - two teachers who were fired from their jobs because of the fear that they were Communists. Even the train accident at novel's end is based on an actual train crash that occurred.

Blundell's writing style is easy to read. While this book didn't grab me as quickly as her first, I did enjoy it once I got into it. Kit and her family are all unique characters and as secrets were revealed I enjoyed Blundell's ability to create some twists and turns that I never anticipated.

1 comment:

Katie said...

As soon as I saw the cover image in my little blog roll I thought, "That looks so much like the cover for What I Saw and How I Lied!" aaaaand, it really is :) I was a fan of that book, and didn't even know that there was a follow-up! I'll have to investigate further...

And thanks for the info on Amazon Vine!