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Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Secret Life of Bees, I mean, Cee Cee Wilkes

Diane Chamberlain's "The Secret Life of Cee Cee Wilkes" was alright.  It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't great.  I enjoyed the fact that it was fast-paced and held my attention.  I liked the letters written by CeeCee's mom and how they foreshadowed and paralleled the events in the book.  Although I guessed what was going to happen 90% of the time, there were a few things I didn't expect.  I knew that Corinne was going to make up with her mom, break up with Ken, and influence the Russells to make sure her mom served a lighter sentence.  I also knew Jack would stay with and support CeeCee.  But there were enough surprises in there to make me smile.  For example, I had no idea that Ronnie would return CeeCee's box of letters to her while she was in prison.  I also didn't consider the possibility that Corinne might be Tim's baby.  I never guessed that Tim had had an affair with Genevieve, although I'm surprised I never thought of it.  It makes a lot of sense seeing as Tim is a complete womanizer and would do anything to get what he wants.  Jerk.

There were a few holes in the plot that bothered me enough to make me pause while reading.  For example, why wouldn't there be more suspicion of foul play with Genevieve's kidnapping?  Why wouldn't there be more of an intense search find the governor's wife of all people?  Why didn't Marian ever suspect that Cory wasn't Eve's baby and that it might be the governor's child?  Also, when the remains were found it was announced who they belonged to at the same time (pg 312).  I always thought that identifying remains by dental records took time.  I didn't know you could tell who a person was just by looking at their bones in the dirt.  Also, when the media are showing 28 year old photos of Tim and Marty, wouldn't they really be showing age-advanced photos (pg 324)?  What good does it do to show a picture of how someone looked 28 years ago?

Not only were there a few holes in the plot, there were a few things that bothered me in characterization and the story in general.  First of all, when Corinne mentioned abortion on pg 12, I was not pleased and I was actually turned off by her personality.  I also didn't understand why CeeCee she was so impressed that Tim was "protecting" her (pg 360).  I didn't like the fact that she didn't want him to take the fall for something she thought he wasn't responsible for when, in fact, it was because of his actions Genevieve died.  Isn't that manslaughter?   The last thing is kind of nit-picky but how often does one really pull their knees up to their chest and hug themselves and squeeze their eyes shut (pg 317)?

Even though it wasn't my type of book (that's okay, there's not many that are) I enjoyed reading it.  I even pretended to be sick on Saturday so I could stay in bed reading all day.  

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