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  • Traps
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3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars

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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Events in this novel take place over a period of only 4 days and involve 4 women, all apparently unconnected. Firstly we have Jessica, a movie star who appears to be completely overwhelmed by her celebrity status and has become a virtual recluse. Next we have Dana, a former soldier who has had service in Irag and Afghanistan and who now works as a bodyguard. Dana's life is planned and organised in a completely rigid manner. Then we have Lynn, a recovering alcoholic, now running a rescue centre for dogs. Finally we have Vivien, only 17 years old, but a single mother of twin babies.

All 4 women are damaged in some way by events in their past and are struggling to move forward in their lives. During the 4 days over which the novel is set, we learn something about all the women and we start to understand how their past lives have shaped them. As the 4 days pass, events unfold and we learn that all 4 woman are connected in some way. As the days pass, the lives of all the women become entangled in different ways. By the end of the 4 days all of the women have moved on with their lives and have gone some way to finding peace in ways which none of them had anticipated.

This is a very enjoyable novel. The characterisation is excellent and all 4 women are entirely believable. I could picture all four of them quite clearly in my mind, almost as if I was watching a movie. The story is a good one and the author weaves together the stories of the four women very cleverly so that only so much is revealed at a time. This means that tension is maintained throughout. All of the women have a story to tell and I would love to have known more about their pasts. I am sure that the author could probably write a novel about each of the women is she chose to do so. There is certainly enough material.

Altogether a very enjoyable and engrossing read which I am very happy to recommend.
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VINE VOICEon 17 December 2012
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I did enjoy this book but it didn't grip me. Each of the four main characters have an interesting story and the action takes place over four days so things happen quite quickly. At the start it is very hard to see how the four lives will be connected but gradually the links become apparent. As they are brought together they each have big decisions to make which will affect the rest of their lives. It starts very promisingly but I was expecting more from the end of the story. Somehow it seemed to end too soon without the big transforming event I was waiting for. I felt there was a satisfying build up in the story with some good writing but it needed a more dramatic ending. Maybe it is just me preferring a different style of book, but I felt this is a novel which doesn't quite live up to its potential.
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VINE VOICEon 2 April 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The blurb says..."Four women, four days, one chance" and that pretty much sums this story well.

All four women are interesting characters. Dana is an ex military bodyguard, well trained, hard exterior and well disciplined. Jessica is a famous actress and has all the trappings that fame brings. Some of them are not very desirable. The loss of a private life and the endless fans and hangers on don't sit well with her and Jessica and her family have continuous protection, but this makes her a virtual hostage in her own home. Vivian is a a young woman who has had a rough time of it. At seventeen years old she is the mother of twins and running scared from a sinister boyfriend. Then there is Lynn, a recovering alcoholic, who runs a dog sanctuary. She carries a lot of guilt for her past mistakes, but has been clean from alcohol for over four years. More than anything she wants to make amends for how she let her family and friends down.

All these characters come together in an engrossing novel which I found to be a real page turner. I was eager to see how everything panned out and loved all the women for their faults and honesty. Neatly tied together, the story is great and highly recommended. I am now going to get hold of Mackenzie Bezos's first novel!
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Imagine you get promised a bar of chocolate, you sit and think about demolishing that bar of chocolate all day and you eat it to find its not chocolate all all but marshmallow.

Thats how i felt about this book.

Dana as a character was beyond boring, didnt believe her contrite ending.

Lynn was sweet, and i know someone just like her so i warmed to her a lot.

The twist with her i genuinely did not see coming.

The rest of it, just Blah.

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VINE VOICEon 31 May 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
"Life is full of things that feel like traps. Our own weaknesses and mistakes. Unlucky accidents. The violence done to us by others. But they're not always what they seem. Sometimes later we see that they led us where we needed to go."

"Traps" follows four women. In chapter 1 we meet "our first hero", Dana, who is being confronted by a savage dog inside a locked vehicle as part of her training before she returns home to her nice, ordered home across the way from her messy boyfriend's place.

Chapter 2 is where we meet Jessica , an famous actor who is in hiding at home with her doctor husband and two girls, as she avoids answering her ringing phone.

In chapter 3 we meet the third woman, Vivian, a teenager forced to flee the red widow spider infested hovel home of her boyfriend, with her twin babies, and $14 in her pocket.

Chapter 4 is where the fourth woman, Lynn, is introduced. She runs a dog rescue centre and is advertising a vacancy after yet another of her "girls" leaves the role.

Having four separate introductions for me disrupted the flow of the book at the beginning, and the chapters also contain a lot of detailed description in them making them slow reading for me.

But after those chapters the disconnects become less and the stories converge, as each of the women confronts their traps, leading to a moving end for each of them.

Overall a book that gets more gripping as you get through it and would suit those who like emotional stories (4 for the price of one in fact).
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I thought this was an interesting novel about four women who seem to be stuck in a bad place in their life. Things happen and life changes.
The writing is finely detailed, at first I thought too much, but after a while I began to appreciate this as the characters in their situations became clear and lifelike.
It begins with Day One in Los Angeles and the first character Dana who has commitment issues. She also has a devoted and loving boyfriend who wants her to sleepover, but Dana can't even share her sleep space.
The second woman is Jessica, she has been a famous film star but now won't go anywhere. She is married and has two children and they are her world.
The next woman is seventeen year old Vivian who has twin babies and is with a man who is not good to her.
Last is Lara, living in a remote location. She has a Dog Rescue Home but has trouble keeping the live-in help she relies on.

I found all women believable and likeable.
There is a mystery to each character that unfolds as the novel progresses, and also each woman's life will in some way connect to the others though at the beginning they don't know each other. I loved that there is a positive feel to this book, despite the problems.
I really enjoyed reading this book and will look out for anymore by this author. Recommended.
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VINE VOICEon 21 May 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
As the blurb says, this novel is about four women living different lives who get drawn together and have to make "life changing decisions".
The women are introduced separately in the first four chapters where the reader/narrator is in a definite observer role. They each have clear back stories although, at the beginning, they are more about what has happened to them rather than being introduced as characters in their own right. This results in a slow start for the book, a luxury which cannot be afforded with such a short book (just over 200 pages).
At about the halfway point and when the connections are becoming clear, the plot starts to get going and gets stronger throughout the remainder of the story.
It's a book of two halves, the first being character and the second being plot. Both are strong individually but, where space is limited as it is here, you have to be able to do both together.
Worth a read but be prepared to have to persevere through the first half.
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