Monday, January 3, 2011

Bloodlines...familiy through thick and thin?

Bloodlines by Dasaya Cates: Book CoverOh the tangled web we weave, when at first we do deceive...the new addition to Dasaya Cates novels, Bloodlines, is a tale of deception and deliverance. We have all heard about bloodlines, family ties, and the deadliness of family secrets. Or how about the epitaph "What happens at home stays at home?" Cates unravels the reality of the impact secrets have on every party whether the keeper or the ones kept in the dark.

Cates writing pulls us into an intriguing family of wealth and prestige, with a secret. Several dynamics are at hand, and rhetorically, Cates touches upon the idea that our behavior is learned and trickles from the head (parents) down (generational). While Lena, the matriarch of this family, protects her own secret closet by any means necessary, her son is on a journey of secret building in his own life that could be catastrophic to the family name.

It is immediately clear to the reader, when Reynolds Bryden Colby Lang is stuttering over his vows to the beautiful and socially desirable Blair Lindsey Cannon, that there are problems ahead. But Cates is so sly in leading us through different corridors of the maze, keeping us off kilter about who the real secret keeper is that the reader willingly pursues. Eventually, and the reader is amazed at the depth to which Lena Lang, family matriarch, will go to hide something of which she is ashamed. Her concern over public image, societal standing, and immersing her past so deeply that it cannot be dug up cost her sanity, in the end.

Once I was into the novel, I was invested - I needed to know what the secret was that Deena was hiding. Then, I needed to travel with her children as they got closer and closer to the truth about who their mother was, and in turn, who they were as well.

I am impressed with the development of Cates characters, as they grow throughout the story, and the dialogue is so smooth you can almost hear dialects change. Although I felt there was more I needed to know about some of the characters, like Lena's sisters and the fleshing out of their shared past, I see many of the characters having story lines of their own in the future. I cannot wait to be a part of them.

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