Sunday, March 30, 2008

Undercover by Beth Kephart

This is yet another Cyrano de Bergerac retelling. Elisa is a secret poet…secret in that many of her classmates don’t know she is the one who writes the beautiful lines used by many of male classmates to capture the hearts of their crushes. Her home life is a bit depressing, as her father - the only family member who understands her - is away on a business trip that keeps getting extended. This is taking a toll on her parents’ relationship, as well as making Elisa feel even more like an outsider, as she has little in common with her mother and sister.

Add to this that she is falling for one of her clients. Her longing for a relationship with Theo and for her father to come home are two consistent themes throughout the story.

Elisa finds solace in the beauty of nature – especially the beauty of an abandoned lake near her home. As the weather turns colder, and the ice freezes solid, Elisa takes her mother’s old figure skates and teaches herself to skate.

Although the poetry is lovely, overall the story is boring and unlikely. With so much else out there to read, I’d skip this one.

This story was a March book club selection.

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