Willow Pond by Carol Tibaldi
Carol Tibaldi’s Willow Pond has all the elements of a great story.
It also has more than its fair share of possible dilemmas. A divorced couple, a selfish actor, an aunt who runs a speak-easy and not to mention her connections with the seedy gangster underworld, set the scene for this tale. It has a whole tribe of characters, a few of whom you just want to slap! Put all this together and you have the makings of a fabulous romp through the rich 1930’s New York society.
It is, however, a heart-rending kidnap of a little boy – Todd, which really rocks the boat and sets the story going, but I admit it was slow going.
The book is set in 1930, and I wasn’t sure about that until the author actually mentioned the date. The roaring 20’s had just ended and the world was changing after the crash of ‘29. I would have loved to see the author write more of the history that she knows so much about. It would have added more to the story to be immersed more into the period. The Author clearly knows her stuff, history-wise, writes well and I particularly loved the gangster side of this book.
The characters weren’t too developed, unfortunately, by the time the kidnap took place, so I hadn’t built up a rapport with the main character Laura. In fact, she irritated me a lot by doing things that I believe were out of character for a mother.
However, her Aunt, Virginia, is fun. She’s edgy and a little bit dangerous. She’s the kind of girl that can handle herself and a gun! I would have liked to have seen more of her.
Philip, the father and ex-husband is an actor and stereo-typically irritating and self-centred. I wanted him to be the one who was thrown in jail, simply because I didn’t like him!
The narration moves you slowly through the tale, leaving you suspecting each character in turn and egging Erich on to find the kidnapper. There are parts that made me mad, some that made me laugh or smile, and others that surprised me (such as a distraught mother going out on a dinner-date). I’m glad I read this book, and Carol Tibaldi is someone to watch out for in the future.
I am giving this a 3.5 star rating – it has all the ingredients, it’s well written, but it just doesn’t come together somehow. I do, however, look forward to more from this author!
(I was given a copy of the book to review by the author.)