Thursday, March 17, 2011

Strings Attached by Judy Blundell

Again I waited way too long to review a book. Gotta stop doing that. Kit Corrigan has left her family in Rhode Island and moved to New York to try and make it as a Broadway star. The show she's in is a flop and her money's running out fast when Nate Benedict, her ex boyfriend's father and a mob lawyer makes her a deal. Keep an eye on Billy (the ex) and do a couple of favors and she's got a new job and a new place. Billy joined the military along with Kit's brother, the night it all ended because of Billy's temper; but there is still a lot unresolved between Kit and Billy.

Kit is a great characters and I really loved looking at the world through her eyes. She's trying to figure out what to do and is unhappy with herself for taking the easy way out. She is a very strong girl but she doesn't see it yet. I was happy to watch her start to find her strength again at the end of the book.

The book goes back and forth between Kit's early childhood, when her and her brother and sister (they are triplets) were part of the Corrigan three; growing up with her aunt and her father and dance lessons; and the beginning of her relationship with Billy. Along the way we get Billy's history and her aunt and father's history as well.

The plot here is strong and interesting, the characters are extremely well developed, even the minor ones and I thoroughly enjoyed the book but there was one question it raised for me. At what point does a specific time period get relegated to historical fiction. The work takes place in the fifties (not the sock hop Leave it To Beaver, happy suburbia fifties but lives that are grittier and certainly feel more realistic), and while I wasn't alive yet some of my coworkers were. I've wondered about this a lot and have asked around. I find that the answer I tend to get depends on when the person I am talking to was born.

In the end it was more of a feeling that made me consider this book historical fiction. Everything in this book feels very old fashioned. From the descriptions of the more superficial things such as clothes, food and furniture to the more in depth such as social customs, class and behavior. Also the occasional trips to the forties and thirties to get background information on characters and their situations allowed me to rationalize my decision.

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