The Splendor Falls by Rosemary Clement-Moore
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Category: Young Adult
Genre: Paranormal, Mystery, Southern Gothic
Can love last beyond the grave?
3.5 stars I like the cover of this book and even though I'm not exactly sure why it's called The Splendor Falls, I like the title too. Both the title and the cover just sort of beckoned me to read it, promising a lot of good gothic mystery.
The book is about Sylvie, a girl who lives in Manhattan, and who is recuperating from a tragic and freak accident which has left her unable to continue with her ballet career, a career that meant everything to her. Sylvie has also been struggling with the loss of her dad, and to make matters worse her mother has now remarried and this has driven a wedge between Sylvie and her mother. Her mother decides that what Sylvie needs is to visit a distant relative in Alabama who happens to be restoring an old family home there. Strange things begin to happen and Sylvie begins to think she's seeing things that aren't there.
I must say that I had a hard time keeping my head in this book for about the first 100 pages. In my opinion it took way too long to get to the meat of the story. I think the book is just too long in general, and it didn't need to be over 500 pages long. When we finally get to the old southern mansion where the story takes place, instead of pulling us into the mansion and its surroundings and enthralling us with it, the author makes the mistake of focusing in too much on Silvie's pet dog Gigi for a good portion of the book. I felt like this distracted from the mystery and the feel of the surroundings.
I can't really say at what point I became engrossed in the story, it was well into the book, but there was a point where Gigi seemed to fade into the background and the story finally took off. The atmosphere of the book changed and suddenly I couldn't put it down. From that point on the book deserves 4 stars. I would say it probably deserved 2 stars before that.
There were two guys in this book that Silvie meets and finds attractive for different reasons. Rhys and Shawn. I liked that even though she was interested in them and they in her it didn't take over the story. The romance was very light and Silvie wasn't all consumed by thoughts of the two guys, so it didn't feel like I was reading a love triangle or anything. I thought Silvie and of course Gigi, were both very well drawn characters. Its just a shame that the rest of the supporting characters couldn't have been more fleshed out. More attention to Rhys and less to Gigi would have improved the book. I liked Rhys and I just wanted more of him.
Overall I ended up liking this book quite a bit. I thought it ended well although there was one thing I thought might be revealed that ended up not being the case.
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