Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Adventures of Miss Vulpe ~ ~ ~ Blog Tour & Review!


THE ADVENTURES OF
MISS VULPE
A Coming of Age Story for Adults
by
MARIA ELENA SANDOVICI

  Genre: Contemporary / Women’s Fiction / Coming of Age
Date of Publication: April 7, 2017
Number of Pages: 160


Ana Petrescu (aka Miss Vulpe) is a troubled teenager determined to solve the mystery of her parents' double suicide. Escaping the scrutiny of her legal guardian and the unwanted interference of several therapists, she starts looking up people from her mother's past. Her sleuthing requires her to lie about her identity, her age, and her lack of experience with men. While impersonating Miss Vulpe is more fun than going to school, there's bound to be trouble and heartache when her web of lies unravels.







HALL WAYS REVIEW:

“Idiocy is more damning to one’s appearance 
than rotten teeth or missing an eye.”

Oh, the gems sprinkled throughout The Adventures of Miss Vulpe. Main character Ana Petrescu has many keen observations and often seems wise beyond her sixteen years – and why wouldn’t she be? Hers has not been a life of being spoiled and sheltered from the cold, ugly world.  Instead, her parents are dead, her guardian, Rogers, is physically and emotionally distant, her multiple therapists are ineffective, and she pretends to be a twenty-six-year-old sexpot set on getting answers from a clueless man, Richard. Ana has everyone’s number. Or does she?

This book is so many things wrapped into one delicious story; I read it through in one sitting.  For the first two thirds of the book, the stories – there are several – are mostly told through Ana’s present day narration and Richard’s flashbacks. And through the dialogue, readers also get acquainted with Rogers and Louise, Ana’s mother, around whom the mysteries revolve.  From there, a good twenty pages is dedicated to a massive info dump that contains the big reveals. Yes, reveals – plural.  I was completely surprised by one of them, though in hindsight, if I had read more carefully instead of rapidly flipping pages, I might have caught a hint of what was to come. This section of the book read like the synopsis of a full season of a soap opera. DE-LI-CIOUS! A bonus to the story is the rich, detailed descriptions of the places where the action unfolds. Be it the swamps of Louisiana, the Texas gulf, Bucharest, or Madrid, readers will feel the setting.

As readers are coming down from the DRAMA, author Maria Elena Sandovici pulls the attention back to the present and poor Ana, who’s life has been blown apart by realities, old and new, and a series of adults who utterly failed her.  Sandovici has written some seriously flawed and complicated characters, which makes reading The Adventures of Miss Vulpe at times feel voyeuristic.  Ana makes one bad decision after another and doesn’t have the maturity (or will) to extricate herself from situations gone awry.  She’s an inexperienced teenager, but anyone who ever walked on the wild side in her younger days will understand Ana’s choices that made her feel powerful, important, and desired.  Richard evokes so many different reactions from the reader. He is so damaged, but as soon as I began to feel one way, like a puppet master, Sandovici yanked me in a different direction. Ditto with Rogers. And sad, sad Louise. 

The grammar policewoman in me would have liked a more cleanly edited copy and better formatting – it drove me crazy there were no page numbers! However, this story. . .THIS STORY! That perfect ending! Reading The Adventures of Miss Vulpe completely transported me in to Ana’s world, and I had trouble disengaging and letting her go. She’s a survivor, so I know she’s okay without me.    

**Interesting side note I learned: did you know they sell Avon in Romania? They do! (and Yves Rocher, too.)**

Thank you to Lone Star Book Blog Tours and the author for providing me a print copy in exchange for my honest opinion – the only kind I give.


Maria Elena Sandovici lives in Houston with her dog. She travels to Bucharest often and also to Spain, but her favorite trip remains 45 South to Galveston. She has an art studio at Hardy and Nance in the Warehouse District, open the third Saturday of every month, blogs daily at havewatercolorswilltravel.com, and writes poetry in the voice of her dog. She is also the author of three previous novels about women who are struggling with finding their place in the world.




CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
5/20
Review
5/20
Excerpt 1
5/21
Sketchbook 1
5/22
Review
5/22
Promo
5/23
Excerpt 2
5/24
Review
5/24
Guest Post
5/25
Review
5/26
Sketchbook 2
5/27
Review
5/27
Excerpt 3
5/28
Promo
5/29
Review
5/29
Sketchbook 3


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