Book Review: Splitting Harriet

I felt Tamara Leigh’s, Splitting Harriet was akin to a long walk down a scenic, country road; not unpleasant, but not very entertaining or memorable either.

It reminded me of sharing coffee with my best friend, keeping one ear tuned to her none-stop babbling about a most recent crush, and the other ear wishing my phone would ring and cut the conversation short. Again, not a terrible experience, but certainly tedious after a while.

Harriet Bisset is a grownup preacher’s kid, a reformed rebel, a waitress and the leader of women’s ministry at the church her father once pastored. The primary conflict of the story takes place within Harriet’s head as she frets about and refrains from anything that that might lure her back to her days as a rebellious teen. But therein lies the problem for me.

The first chapter is the only glimpse Leigh gives into Harriet’s backstory. While most authors are chided to “show rather than tell”, Leigh errs on the side of far too much dialogue and repetitive chatter, instead of fully developed scenes and characters. This caused me to doubt the legitimacy of many of Harriet’s behaviors. They seemed overly dramatic and unrealistic.

I had a lot of difficulty getting going in this book. However, I must admit by the time I was two-thirds through, I simply needed to know if Harriet would ever let down her guard and fall in love with her romantic pursuer. But then again, the conclusion left much to be desired, in my opinion. With so little conflict in the story, there wasn’t much to resolve, leaving the me feeling only mildly satisfied.

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