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    Telling more than showing

    Big, gloomy house - check. A family going back generations - check. Secrets - check. A bit of the supernatural - check. If I were ticking off a list of elements for the making of a Gothic mystery, The Breathless certainly fits the bill. The author sets a scene that is haunting and dark as the story moves back and forth between present day and almost one hundred fifty years ago to the beginnings of Blue Gate and the Cole family. In present day, we have a group of teenagers struggling to deal with the loss of one gone way too soon, a father who has checked out on life, and a grandfather who knows far more than he is able to tell. In the past, we have the story of a young Grady Cole, delving into things better left alone to save those he loves. This spooky tale had the potential to be something unforgettable with mystery and the dark aspect of the supernatural. As our main character, Mae, digs into things best left buried, family secrets are revealed bit by bit. The uncovering of those secrets should’ve leant an air of suspense to the story, but it was a bit too easy to see where it was going. The biggest drawback for this reader was that the story quickly became repetitive and seemed to wander almost aimlessly at times, particularly in the modern day chapters. I also found some of the characters to be more nuisance than any benefit to the tale. For example, Mae’s sister, Elle, was irritating at best and while I kept expecting her to play some role in the storyline, I found no reason for her presence. The question of whether or not Mae’s actions would prove fruitful did keep me reading, but I found the story of Grady Cole and his forbidden love that started it all to be the most interesting parts of this tale and quickly began to look forward to those chapters. In the end, the author’s writing style of telling more than showing and the continual going over and over of the same information made this one a little too easy to set aside for later.
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