"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." Groucho Marx

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Savage Girl by Jean Zimmerman

Jean Zimmerman's captivating writing style, accompanied by brilliant character development and incredibly thorough research, sets the stage for a smashing literary success from the first page. Zimmerman's linguistic wizardry, delivered through the mouth of narrator Hugo Delegate, had me mesmerized from the first page. 

The characters in Savage Girl are so dynamic and well developed, even days after I've finished the novel I expect I might meet them on the street. I might see Hugo at the bookstore, the Sage Hen buying yarn at the discount shop. I remained engaged in the tale until just after halfway where the story loses its momentum and lost my attention. After such a gripping beginning my disappointment at this unraveling was exponential. I went so far as to take time off from Savage Girl and read another novel. After a short interlude I resumed and pushed through and I'm so glad I did! Zimmerman picks it back up and the last 100 pages are a roller coaster ride of climactic conclusions and unexpected revelations, reaffirming her storytelling genius.

I've not yet enjoyed Zimmerman's 2012 publication, The Orphanmaster: A Novel of Early Manhattan, but I intend to do so soon. I am anxious to find out if the waxing and waning of momentum is characteristic of Zimmerman's writing style or if that approach is limited to Savage Girl. I would recommend Savage Girl to any fans of historical fiction, encouraging potential readers to stick with it, even when it seems as if it's going nowhere for too long. The reader's tenacity is rewarded with a heart-thumping ending!

You will find an official plot line description at: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17987214-savage-girl?from_search=true

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