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Book #5: New England White

"Give me a man or woman who has read a thousand books and you give me an interesting companion.  Give me a man or woman who has read perhaps three and you give me a dangerous enemy indeed." - Anne Rice

I found Stephen L. Carter a couple of years ago when I read The Emperor of Ocean Park which is an excellent book with a thrilling, twisted ending.  I really enjoyed reading it so when I came across New England White and saw his name, I immediately picked it up.  It's been sitting in my to read pile for a couple of months and I was glad to be able to use it for my reading challenge; it qualifies as a book with over 500 pages. 



I may have set Mr. Carter up to fail with this book because I remembered enjoying TEOOP so much.  Or it could have been how crazy busy my life has been so far this year which didn't allow me large amounts of time to read and really get pulled into the story. I think I missed things and I constantly had to go back to the beginning of the chapter or passage to remember where I left off. 

The premise of the story is good and I enjoyed the ending - I was dying to find out "who done it".  The twists and turns and the world of secrecy was multi-layered and complex.  The story surrounds a power couple who are both employed by a loosely disguised Yale University, even featuring the Vanderbilt Suite which the main character's husband lived in with a descendant (in the book, it's the Hilliman family) while a student.

The plot carries some serious themes of race, racism and power on a national level - there is a presidential race at stake in the book and shows the workings behind the scenes and how dangerous having the power or seeking the power can be.  The plot is historic in the making, going back for generations and reaching further than Julia, the main character can imagine. Carter keeps it suspenseful by using secret socities, cracked mirrors and coded anagrams (some worked better than others) and multiple villians.   No one is innocent in this story. 

I enjoyed the book and look forward to reading more from Mr. Carter.

{Side Note:  one of the most clever touches was naming the family cat, Rainbow Coalition.  It played along with the color theme...  And cracked me up every time I read it.  It also made me want to start singing Kermit's Rainbow Connection. }


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