Thursday, December 17, 2009

Review of Just Before the Dawn (Rebecca Remembered) by Joseph A. Gillan, review by Ann K.

Genre: fiction, romance
Reviewer's location: not disclosed
Reviewer's rating: 2 of 5 stars

The concept here is interesting. A woman named Rebecca, who is happily married, receives a very long letter from a man with whom she had a torrid affair some years ago. For some reason, she hides the letter from William, her husband. William already knows about the affair, and she doesn’t know why she keeps the letter from him. At that point, she reads the letter with frequent interruptions for the phrase “Rebecca remembered” as the past comes back to her. Next, there are a couple of chapters describing Thomas, her former lover, in great detail, including a list of the books he read, his habit of jogging, and his love of baseball. Time passes, and she reads more bits of the letter. We also read about the first failed marriages of both Rebecca and Thomas, and we hear about the many other women in Thomas’s life and his confession to a bishop about his sins. Thomas writes a long letter to a friend about death and dying. William and Rebecca take a trip to Florida where she hopes and fails to find Thomas. William asks for a divorce. Rebecca drinks more than she used to. Then there is more about Thomas and his various girlfriends. Thomas decides to join a monastery, but he leaves before his three months of probationary time is finished. In the end, Thomas realizes that man is born to die and return to his God. There are many breaks, bits of underlining, and interruptions to get to this point.

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