Betrayal Mass Market Paperback – Jul 1 2011
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About the Author
FERN MICHAELS is the USA Today and New York Times bestselling author of the Sisterhood, Men of the Sisterhood, and Godmothers series, as well as dozens of other novels and novellas. There are over seventy-five million copies of her books in print. Fern Michaels has built and funded several large day-care centers in her hometown, and is a passionate animal lover who has outfitted police dogs across the country with special bulletproof vests. She shares her home in South Carolina with her four dogs and a resident ghost named Mary Margaret. Visit her website at www.fernmichaels.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I absolutely loved this book.. I thought it was going to be another Sister Hood book, but this book was great I couldn't put it down, from start to finish.
On the "Books are food for the mind" I normally rate Fern Michaels as Family dinning. Her books may not be the best in the world, but they are usually well written with interesting characters. They are the good books to grab while on vacation or to grab on audio because you're heading on a long car trip and want something to keep you entertained.
Betrayal, however, is an awful book. I know I'm going against the tide here, but I found it a terrible little book full of horrible cliches. Let's start with the good sister and the bad sister. The good sister is thin and blond. The bad sister is fat and has dark hair. We know the bad sister is fat because Fern Michaels won't let us forget it for one second. She's a nasty, fat little girl with nothing but evil on her mind. Even the good sister is disgusted by her and never seems to miss a chance to remind her sister that she's fat and thus, a rotten person. She's sweet and polite with everyone else, but when it comes to her sister, since she's a fat kid, no one should have to be tactful, so good sister has no problem ragging bad sister for being fat. Bad sister herself can't seem to do anything but eat. It's pretty clear that Fern wanted to paint a "Good" vs. "Bad" picture here and wanted to beat the reader over the head with it and found it quickly. "Oh yes, I'll make the bad girl FAT! REALLY FAT! That's awesome, because everyone knows that fat children are terrible animals with no self control! And just to make sure the reader never forgets, every time this person enters the room, reenters the story, I'll point out how fat she is! And she'll whine about how hungry she is, ALL THE TIME. She won't be able to say ten sentences without yapping her trap about how she wants to eat, eat, eat."
I think what bothered me too, is that in this book, this evil child was manipulated... at the age of TWELVE. Yet, she seems to be held 100% accountable for her actions. I'm not saying that the child was guilt free, but when I was twelve, I listened to my parents. I did what they told me. Yet, it always seems like because bad sister is so fat and thus, evil, she gets no break for her age. One minute she's whining like she's seriously mentally challenged, yet at the age of twelve, she could get everyone to dance like puppets. And as an adult, she's still unable to talk for ten sentences without mentioning food. Having been someone who lived with people who dealt with weight issues and had her own all of her life, no, fat people don't discuss food all the time. Seriously, we don't. We don't even like to mention food, because the moment the subject comes up, everyone stares at you when you're fat. But not this girl. She can't even talk about her boyfriend without mentioning that they like to toast wieners over an open fire. This whole, "I'm fat and I love to eat," is way overplayed in the book.
The conclusion of this book was too neat too. The "bad" people all get what is properly theirs. The good people get their hearts desire, right down to something that usually doesn't happen to a middle aged couple, but hey, nothing is too good for them, right?
It's too bad that Ms. Michaels had to use this book as her platform to beat us over the head with her "Fat people are miserable" agenda, because it might have been a good book, otherwise. It poked a stick bravely at an issue that is a very sensitive one in our country, and if done right, it would have been interesting to see how you handle being on the other end of the witch hunt when you're not guilty. But instead, she flipped it into a ridiculous book where we're expected to believe a twelve year old girl, who is normally unable to do anything but talk about where and what she will eat next, was suddenly able to convince everyone she did something she did not. It's a world where fat people are horrible cliches. It's a world where someone works for the IRS for five years and it teaches them how to become an expert hacker and able to access anyone's personal accounts. It's too unbelievable. I expected better.
However, Sara suddenly exhibits troubling behavior on her last visit. Weeks later, Alex gets a phone call from Don saying that Sara has accused him of molesting her for years. Kate, always believing Alex's innocence, is helpless as her husband goes to trial, is convicted and sent to prison. When even more tragedy occurs, Kate's grief turns to anger and eventually revenge. She embarks on a quest to ruin those involved and clear her husband's name.
I thought this story was a bit "over the top." Debbie walks around calling her daughters tramps, Sara is having one temper tantrum after another and Don, just ignores it all...It did not make sense to me that Emily and Sara were such beloved guests for Alex and Kate and then on the last visit, Sara is just plain evil and no one says anything to her parents? Why would Kate put up with Debbie's constant rude remarks and foul treatment of them? Does not make sense that she would take their children in on visits when the mom is so vulgar to Kate....oh well, it was fun to read. The characters were nasty, bent on revenge and it was certainly easy to hate Sara and Debbie.
I've read a number of books by Fern Michaels and I have to say, this book reads like it was written by someone else under her name. I've read better self published first novels than this book.
Perhaps I should have stopped reading with the completely unnecessary plot point of having the fighting family drive up from South Florida to the mountains of North Carolina rather than flying only to turn around and drive back the next day to catch a cruise back in Florida. We're not talking about little kids. The parents could have put them on a plane and let them fly alone, or one parent could have flown up and back at significantly less time than it took to make the drive. The drive out of Florida alone is eternal and not at all enjoyable.
The characters aren't properly developed at all. Everyone is a one dimensional and stereotypical. Debbie, the manipulative abusive mother calls her oldest daughter names in front of people. I'm sorry, even the worst mother will put on an act in public. The husband's first lawyer was so wonderful in the beginning, yet Kate "had a bad feeling" about him all along. Really? And this is a couple where money is no object. They could have afforded the best defense and good investigators to discredit the family making the accusations. There's no mention of Alex ever smoking, yet when he's accused by Sara of burning her with a cigarette, the defense attorney doesn't even question it.
The middle of the book bends credibility even further. We're expected to believe that in 5 years of training with the IRS Kate gains the skills to hack into computer accounts and destroy someone else's life. And that Kate, who loves to cook, spends 5 years eating frozen dinners in her grief. Really?
Even better, the "pat" solution in the end that wraps it all in a nice bow is completely unrealistic.