Thursday, May 3, 2012

Charlene Reviews: A Lovely, Indecent Departure by Steven Lee Gilbert

ISBN #: 978-0985336509
Page Count: 282
Copyright: March 23, 2012
Publisher: Steven Lee Gilbert

(Taken from back cover)

Anna Miller wants only one thing, her son, and she will do anything to keep him. When a district court awards custody of Oliver to his father, she abducts the five year old and flees to Italy where with her family's help they disappear into the fabric of her native homeland.

In A Lovely, Indecent Departure, the debut novel from award-winning writer, Steven Lee Gilbert, comes an emotional family saga of a missing child, an unjust legal system and the desperate climate of parental abduction. Told in prose that is both stripped-down and overpowering, Gilbert shapes the everyday conflict of child custody into a riveting and often tender search for sense of worth. Standing in the young immigrant mother's way is Evan Meade, the boy's guileful and mean-spirited father, who hires a child recovery specialist when the efforts of the embattled local sheriff, Monroe Rossi, fail to track them down. But as the investigation draws them all closer to Anna, Evan's true nature betrays itself and the question of what's in the child's best interest becomes not so clear anymore.

Objectively detailed, in a voice that refuses to intrude on the minds of its characters, A Lovely, Indecent Departure, captures in stark detail a world in which modern archetypes are turned upside down and may have the reader asking themselves: What would you do?

Charlene's Review:

A Lovely, Indecent Departure is the gripping story of one mother's love for her son. When Anna loses custody of her son, Oliver, she gives up everything she knows and goes into hiding with him. Fleeing to Italy, Oliver and Anna start over, with the help of Anna's extended family. Unfortunately, Evan, Oliver's father, is one step behind them, and with the help of a private investigator, soon tracks them down. This is a fast-paced story that brings up a lot of questions regarding ethics and parenting.

This novel brings together many genres, effortlessly. Merging crime, family drama, action, chic-lit, and intoxicating landscapes, A Lovely, Indecent Departure is captivating. While, at first, we aren't made fully aware of the reasons for Anna's choices, it becomes increasingly clear what her motives are, and Evan does not fail us in the role of the antagonist. While this type of story has been done before, Mr. Gilbert manages to draw us into his characters' perspectives in a fresh way. No matter what side of the custody battle you identify with, you will be riveted to the very last page.

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