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Close-Up by Sherry Ashworth
Simon & Schuster
September 2006
Told in alternate chapters by Jimmy and Liz, co-workers at the Coffee Corp coffee bar, this is a richly compelling novel of interpesonal and family relationships. If there is not much that is original about the subject matter - broken parental relationships with a suddenly reappeared father on the one hand, and a less than enthusiastically received new partner on the other - there is much that is admirable in the way the author depicts the developing relationship between her two main characters. My heart sank temporarily three-quarters of the way through when what appeared to be an unnecessary issue-based element entered the narrative but this proved to have important implications for both Jimmy and Liz and was therefore integral to the storyline. Film fans will enjoy the freqent references Jimmy makes to set scenes from movies. There have been other books featuring movie-obsessed characters, but few of them have so successfully conveyed the way such an obsession affects a character's inner monologue. Particularly effective are those passages in which Jimmy predicts the way a pending encounter is likely to go. Also highly effective is the way Ashworth uses the coffee-bar workplace, rather than school or college, as the main venue for her teenage characters.

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This page contains a single entry by achuka published on November 4, 2006 5:30 PM.

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