Saturday, November 7, 2015

Phyllis Whitney Hidden Hand and Emerald Star

In Mystery of the Hidden Hand, Gale Tyler stays in Greece with her mother and brother.  A mysterious figure dressed in a black cloak runs through their hotel.  Meanwhile, Gale finds a strange package in a closet, and soon learns that a mystery is connected to a nearby house in which distant relatives live.

This book is a travelogue.  I'm not interested in all the great detail about Greece.  I found most all of the information boring, because there is way too much of it.  "Less is more" is applicable.

I also have an aversion to books set in Greece because of The Greek Symbol Mystery.  I really hate that book.

The tone of this book reminds me of Golden Horn.  Too much is kept from the reader, and it is annoying. 

I was quite dissatisfied and bored with this book until page 111 when Gale learns the truth about the tiles, except at that point secrets about the hand and the significance of it are then kept from the reader.  I was dissatisfied again, but gradually, I gained interest in the story.  I intermittently skimmed the text, as I wasn't interested in all of the descriptions of Greece.

It look me longer that it should have to read this book.  The book did not interest me greatly, and I take longer in finishing books when I don't find them as compelling.

This is an overall good story, but it was somewhat lacking.  After reading this and the previous book, I was not very interested in continuing to read the Phyllis Whitney books.  I wanted to quit.

In Secret of the Emerald Star, Robin Ward and her family have moved to Catalpa Court on Staten Island.  Robin becomes friends with Stella, a blind girl who lives next door.  Stella's grandmother doesn't understand blindness and treats Stella like she is helpless.  Stella's grandmother is also prejudiced against people of Jewish faith.

This story is slow to get started, and I was partially bored.  I was concerned that I was not going to be interested in this book just like with the previous two books.  Finally, on page 53, discussions about prejudice and labels begin, which are very interesting and insightful.  Whitney mentions how a blind girl shouldn't be labeled as a blind girl and how she is a girl like all other girls.

This is an excellent book.  I greatly enjoyed it.

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