“The Fortune Teller” by Gwendolyn Womack (3 out of 5) 

This was sitting on the new paperback table at the store for the past two weeks. I finally got to it Monday after work. It reads quickly and seamlessly, but be warned- if you have a hard time with novel that employ time jumps, you might have some problems with this. I enjoyed the lead character Semele, and the story itself was a doozy, but all of the back stories got hard to keep track of after awhile. So when that steel-toed shoe dropped in the book, I had to backtrack a few hundred characters to figure out the lineage involved. But it is a very involved book, and if you enjoy Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Russian history, you will dig the tale. I just got tired of all of the back and forth. Also, if the back of the book includes “romance” as a genre, there should be more than an almost incidental coupling and a nod to an actual one. More than two scenes..and not even scenes. A little hunt and peck shouldn’t earn the word “romance” on the back of the book. Just saying. 

Semele gets the chance of a lifetime job- taking over and cataloguing the late Marcel Brossard’s collection. His mysterious son Theo meets Semele and a spark is ignited, but nothing much comes of it. Semele is almost done when she finds a rare manuscript locked away in Marcel’s collection, and way wigged out when she finds a page in it addressed to HER. What the hell, indeed? She heads back to tevesl her find, but things don’t quite go as planned. People start dropping like flies, Semele is being followed, and her job takes her off of the collection and reassigns her to another assignment altogether. Still not enough to deter our doggedly determined heroine, even after her best friend at work is put in danger holding onto a treasure for her. All I can say is this…Semele’s quest is personal in many ways, and sometimes being too close to something is not the right answer. This is obvious several times in the book, and that made me want to shake some sense into the girl. Too many people die in this book. Once the actual story is revealed to the reader, well, I had a hard time buying into it. Some great history is sprinkled throughout the book, as is some truly great family lineage, but the problem is there are so many ancestors telling their story, alternating with Semele in the present day, that it’s not hard to confuse them all. You need to take footnotes, people. Seriously! And yes, it did disrupt the reader’s intense concentration on the plot, and that made me lose interest. And then the great reveal itself….was a little of a head scratcher. I got it, but whoa! Serious suspended belief in many angles. So…overall, a good and thorough traipse through history, but there were some some hiccups here. Enough to make me leave it at 3 stars. 

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~ by generationgbooks on July 4, 2017.

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