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Saturday, June 30, 2007

This novel begins charmingly but becomes brooding and introspective once its main characters grow out of childhood. Sam is eldest brother to his three siblings and feels a heavy responsibility to keep them happy and together when both his parents die in an Italian train bombing. His various quirks are very humorous, especially if you know any families with controlling older brothers and happy-go-lucky younger sisters. Add to the mix the unique perspective that living abroad affords, and you have a very interesting bunch.

Sam struggles to negotiate the challenges of growing up as an outsider among his schoolmates in Grand Rapids and of maintaining a tight-knit family with his brother and two sisters. Eventually he becomes a writer of a television comedy series based on their family life in which they all star. Their fame draws unwelcome attention in the form of a stalker, and Sam grows increasingly paranoid and standoffish with the television producers. After effecting a lurid finale to the tv show, he mysteriously retrace his steps and discover the connection between his present life and the day his parents died in Italy. This book is worth reading, but I wouldn’t blame you if you put it down after the first 95 pages.

Title:Plum and Jaggers
Author:Susan Richards Shreve
Date published:2000
Number of pages:228


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