L.J. Ramsamugh-Knox,
(Blossom Street, 2008)

I hate to be cruel, so I'll be brief.

L.J. Ramsamugh-Knox's short novel Buttercups is a dismal reading experience. If you plod through its entire 80-page length, you'll find a dull plot, dreadful dialogue and nary a spark of creativity.

The story focuses on Loy, a young girl whose mother dies and whose father immediately remarries. He doesn't actually know his new wife, Lenakat, nor does he spend any time getting to know her; he devotes himself to a life of dreary toil while Loy and her sister Mila suffer at the hands of their new evil stepmother. Their father Hendelson apparently doesn't notice their bruises and cuts, nor does he seem to care very much when he is told about his new wife's horrible actions.

In one typical scene, Lenakat strikes Loy across the face with a hairbrush, drawing blood. Loy flees to her aunt and uncle's home nearby, and eventually Lenakat comes looking for her. This is what Loy's compassionate Aunt Ruble has to say, errors included.

"Was anything wrong at home, to give her reasons to run away, it seems strange to me. How has she been coping with the loss of her mother? I know that it has been a good years yet, but harsh memories like that never leaves the mind. She must be very frightened. Loy needs love and attention, special attention...I hope that you have been quite kind to her, if not, then she could end up being a very devastated person, both herself and her sister. To replace a mother is not easy, but at least one can try...at least for the sake of Hendelson, if you really love him?" Ruble discussed feigning pretence.

The entire novella is similarly awkward, enough to make you wonder if English is Ramsamugh-Knox's native language. A good editor might have helped -- or possibly run away in terror -- but I assume Blossom Street is a vanity press without such luxuries as editors. (Its parent company, Germinal Productions, doesn't even mention Blossom Street on its website, so it's hard to tell.)

I wasn't as brief as I'd intended to be, but it turns out I had a lot to say after all. If this review hasn't convinced you to avoid this book, you can order it -- all 80 pages of it -- from Amazon.com for a mere $19.90.

book review by
Tom Knapp

29 January 2011

Agree? Disagree?
Send us your opinions!

what's new