Bec Reviews: Rosemary Clement-Moore - "The Splendor Falls"

If you’re a fan of romance and intrigue, you’ll love this novel by award-winning author, Rosemary Clement-Moore. Sylvie Davis, the main protagonist, is a self-assured, wise-cracking teen with a strong will and a sly wit. When her dream of becoming a world-famous ballerina ends after a disastrous stage fall, she is forced to reassess her life and shift her considerable focus elsewhere. In an effort to curtail a lapse into depression and substance abuse, she is sent to Alabama under the care of distant relatives. Her family believes that the change of scenery will be just what the doctor ordered.

Instead, Sylvie finds herself growing more perplexed; she meets two young men between whom her affections quickly become torn. There is the intelligent, brooding Welshman: Rhys, and the expansive, all-American boy: Shawn (whose mutual disdain becomes increasingly evident throughout her stay). To further add to Sylvie’s confusion, occurrences of a supernatural bent are starting to take place around her, causing her to question first her sanity and then her resolve. With only her beloved lapdog, Gigi, as a reliable companion throughout the unfolding mystery, Sylvie learns to follow her heart and trust her instincts.

Clement-Moore’s characterisation is top-notch: Sylvie is a memorable lead character, delightfully complex in her reactions and dialogue. Her romantic interests are equally appealing: mysterious Rhys is coolly charming and aloof; charismatic Shawn warms a room with his megawatt smile and easy company. Aside from its involving plot, the book’s strength lies in its utterly real observation of daily life — Clement-Moore has a real knack for describing the sometimes very awkward exchanges between her characters and the way they interact with their environment. If you’re looking for a fast, punchy read, this isn’t it. Instead, prepare to be slowly drawn into Sylvie’s psyche, and to watch family secrets and mysterious events unfold through her somewhat cynical eyes.  At 518 pages, it’s not a quick read, either; so, be prepared to commit to this substantial, cleverly-woven romantic mystery.

Splendour Falls – Clement-Moore

September 8th 2009 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers (2009)

Hardcover, 518 pages


0385736908    (isbn13: 9780385736909)

literary awards

YALSA Best Fiction Nominee for Young Adults (2010)

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