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A Trail of Pearls
D.M. George, author
Fifty-five, frumpy, and flung to the curb like an old floral sofa… Losing her Silicon Valley job to a younger woman was bad enough. Catching her husband in the arms of one is the final straw. Something’s gotta give, like the last threads of Perla Palazzo’s sanity. Then, a plan so wild and reckless it’s just an inch to the left of self-destruction. With a bank foreclosure hanging over her head and staring at the last of her savings, Perla books a trip to the Amalfi Coast in the hope of fulfilling her dreams to become a travel writer. But Capri’s deep azure waters are home to more than old wrecks and lost sailors, like Parthenope, an embittered, hard-drinking mermaid who believes the only way to enjoy men is crudo, with a sprinkle of salt and a generous squeeze of lemon. When Parthenope gives Perla an enchanted cameo just days before she meets a dashing Italian tour guide, it seems the divorcée’s fortunes have turned. Timeless beauty, self-confidence—perhaps even love—are suddenly within tantalizing reach. But the siren’s song is both seductive and deadly, and a moment of weakness will leave Perla facing unthinkable consequences.
Plot/Idea: 7 out of 10
Originality: 8 out of 10
Prose: 7 out of 10
Character/Execution: 7 out of 10
Overall: 7.25 out of 10

Assessment:

Plot: A Trail of Pearls is a lively and unexpected blend of fantasy, romance, and contemporary women's fiction with an appealing mythological element. Despite these qualities, the central romance feels somewhat rushed and predictable.

Prose/Style: The prose here is clear, witty, and engaging.

Originality: From a friendship with a heavy-drinking mermaid to magic cameo jewelry and a Capri setting, George offers much to keep readers turning the pages.

Character Development/Execution: These characters are highly exceptional, amusing, and eccentric. Readers may struggle to find greater relatability in their traits, but the author does a fine job of creating a hyperbolic cast whose troubles and travails play out against a divine setting.  

Date Submitted: April 28, 2021

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