Saturday, February 11, 2012
Book Review: Gifted by Karey White (Whitney Finalist)
Author: Karey White
Enjoyment Rating: 4/10
Referral: Whitney Finalist-- General Category
Source: Library copy
Books I've read this year: 16
I kicked off this year's Whitney reading by diving into Karey White's Gifted, which is a finalist in the General category and also eligible for Best Novel by a New Author. Gifted is told from the point of view of Susan, who adopts baby Anna in the opening pages of the novel. As Anna grows, it becomes evident to Susan and her husband Brent that their daughter has unusual gifts-- she doesn't get sick or hurt, people never argue when she is in their presence, and all of the kids in her class learn things effortlessly. Susan and Brent struggle first with accepting their daughter's gifts and then with how much they should tell her about them.
Gifted is perfect for a reader who wants a sentimental, feel-good story. It starts out like every good talk in the Mormon church-- with a definition of "Guardian Angel" from a dictionary and an online encyclopedia, and a quote from a General Authority. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that the book has an overt "message" and therefore feels a bit didactic. If that's the kind of story you're interested in reading, then this one fits the bill. However, the plot basically consisted of Anna growing up (and I predicted the end within five minutes of opening the book), and White's prose is so bogged down in tiny details that at times Susan sounded like my mom giving me a recap of her day more than a narrator giving only the pertinent details that would enhance a narrative.