Wednesday, 20 July 2011

'ORIGINAL SIN' BY TASMINA PERRY



ORIGINAL SIN being my first Tasmina Perry, I was pretty thrilled to finally plunge my heart and soul into this 600 plus page book. I had heard a lot of good things about this author, queen of the bonkbuster genre, brilliant writer… So imagine my excitement coming face to face with this tale of a renowned publicist who has her hands full protecting the shenanigans of a well-to-do family on the verge of a fab and tabloid-driven wedding. Two words to that: sleazy heaven. Indeed, all the elements for a great trashy read are there, a controlling matriarch, a sex-addict daughter, a substance abusive son, a disillusioned bride, and a big big secret that threatens to reveal itself. I mean, what more could I ask for, right? Well, as it turned out, a lot.

First and foremost let me say that I have yet to throw in the towel when Miss Perry is concerned. Her ORIGINAL SIN may have landed below my appreciation radar but I will definitely overlook it. Why? Simple. This writer has spunk. Lots of it. And contrary to TV’s Lou Grant, I love spunk. You can feel it in her words, her sentences, her style… She definitely got the chomps to impress. Trouble is she sometimes misses the boat. Take the character of Tess, for example. She may be an ace at her publicist job but, boy, what a dummy she is at love. It’s hard to feel any real sympathy for her when all she does his blindly tumble over her heartstrings. No, we do not want her perfect, we just want her as shrewd in her love life as she is at her job. It isn’t too much to ask. It’s what is expected.

For all the wrong approach regarding the character of Tess, the one worth mentioning, however, is Brooke, the bride-to-be. The author does a fine job leveling her sense of intelligence. This heroine has flaws but she is not stupid in her actions. We believe she would have second thoughts about her upcoming nuptials and understand her attraction to another man. We do not hate her for it; we embrace her imperfection instead.

Of course, getting into the scheme of things sometimes involves unwanted direction for the reader. In ORIGINAL SIN Perry chooses to elongate her plot and subplots to the point of boredom. A shame actually, for the first 150 pages of her book is almost done to perfection with a sure tempo and a yummy dialogue. But comes the first-half and, suddenly, I find myself loosing interest, due mostly to the characters uninspired ways. I should be having a ball up to that point, not dreading what comes next. But fortunately, the novel last third picks up and saves it from becoming just another snoozer.

There is a fine line between great and super great bonkbuster authors. Jackie Collins, J. J. Salem, Tilly Bagshawe, Jessica Ruston have all caught the nuance. That is why their work flourish while others take a turn for the recycle bin. I am far from saying that Tasmina Perry isn’t one of the super greats. But, judging by her ORIGINAL SIN, it’s truly evident that something is missing. Whether it’s a lack of connection with a male reader or a simple slip from a frothy agenda, we will never know. But one thing’s for sure: her world of sin and caviar still can generate a good buzz despite this lukewarm review. I mean, just look where she is today. Her name is on everyone’s lips. She may have yet to reach mine but she is getting there. All I need is one super great read to seal the deal.


 

Until next post—Martin
 



No comments: