Pearl Puzzles Over Plot

Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 10.02.29 AMHow critical are plot inconsistencies to the enjoyment of a book?

Holly LeCraw’s new book, The Half Brother (RH/Doubleday; OverDrive Sample), has caught librarian Nancy Pearl in its plot lines.

On her weekly radio feature Nancy discusses how much she loves the novel in general, set in an Episcopal boarding school, and that she particularly admires its gorgeous language.

However, Nancy was less certain about the plot, which turns on several forced coincidences. that make her wonder if the book is ultimately successful. Her discussion is a model of how to talk about a book you may not fully admire. Finely balancing LeCraw’s strengths with her own reactions, Nancy leaves readers intrigued but forewarned.

Others are a more certain in their reactions. Booklist gave LeCraw’s second novel (after The Swimming Pool) a starred review, comparing LeCraw to Pat Conroy, Anne Tyler, and Donna Tartt. The Millions also made it one of their “Most Anticipated” titles for the year.

Nancy talks about a new book each week on Seattle’s NPR affiliate KUOW.

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