12 August, 2010

Advance Review: Dangerous Neighbors by Beth Kephart


I received this book from the author at BEA
Picture courtesy of Good Reads

Katherine and Anna are twin sisters that are so intertwined, heart and soul, as to almost be one. But, love and freedom and adulthood seek to pull the two further and further apart. And then one day, Anna is gone. Now, Katherine is left alone, feeling that her life should be at an end too.

Among the marvels of the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Fair, Katherine will have to come to terms with her crushing grief. Finding salvation is neither easy or painless, but Katherine must face her memories of Anna, and set her sister, and herself, free.

DANGEROUS NEIGHBORS begins at the end. Katherine has lost her sister, Anna. She finds herself cast adrift during a time when the city of her birth is celebrating the centennial of the nation's birth. It's very clear that Katherine deeply mourns her sister. The first few pages unfold so beautifully that I found myself caught up in Kephart's words instantly. I turned the pages, one after the other, completely engaged. It wasn't just that Kephart had such rich characterization for Katherine. Anna is there too, in the memories that take the reader back to when she was alive.

Even though the novel is told somewhat in reverse, I almost felt like the end was the beginning. Katherine is a whole being when I began reading. As I fell more and more into the story, I was able to see how she unraveled, with each encounter that she had with Anna, where Anna seemed to need her sister less and less. The more that the name Bennet was mentioned, the more Katherine moved toward the crisis point. And, while that point happened at the ice pond when Anna died, it is clear that a parting of the sisters would have been inevitable, even without the accident.

I actually have so many emotions about this novel, because I had such a connection while reading it. I'm just not sure that I could do justice to those feelings with my words. And, I almost feel like I don't want to share them. For me, DANGEROUS NEIGHBORS is like that first secret crush, or the meeting of hands, when you know that you've met your soulmate. I think this book is going to stay in my head, and in my heart for a very long time.

4/5 for plot
4.5/5 for characters
5/5 for language

My Rating: 13.5/15 Highly Recommend
Bonus Cover Points: 3.5/5


  1. What a beautiful, beautiful review. I thank you so much for this, I really do.

    You've written about the story in a way that is new to me, and I value that immeasurably.

    A happy almost autumn to you.

  2. @Beth Kephart:Thanks so much for stopping by, and linking my review to your blog!

  3. Excellent review! I too think a parting would have been inevitable.

  4. Thank you, Liviania. I haven't connected with a historical in a very long time, but I'm not surprised it was a Beth Kephart that did it!


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