by Raj Lowenstein
The saga of the O’Connor sisters concludes in this story, with the youngest, Olli Rose, having her life abruptly altered forever. Living in her granduncle’s garage while she creates renowned art, the deaf and pregnant Olli Rose is surprised one day to see strange gangsters in her home. Grazed by their bullets during her escape, she quickly finds herself in the protective custody of the FBI. Transported against her will away from Kansas to a small Pacific Northwest island, Olli Rose not only has to try and adapt to a situation she is thrust in while waiting for her half-sister to testify, but she has new problems while in custody. With her life in danger as she waits, Olli Rose may come away from the experience a changed woman for the better after falling in love with the FBI agent who saved her life in the shootout.
A lot of care and detail goes into the exchanges that take place in this book, both spoken aloud and through American Sign Language. Formatting differences allow the reader to see the literal words signed in conversation as well as how they would translate into spoken English. As Olli Rose and Robbye learn to communicate more fluidly and fluently, those differences fade into the background, and the protagonist’s deafness becomes just another character detail. The entire situation is treated with the realism and respect that one would expect from an author educated in American Sign Language. That angle aside, this story moves hummingly along, landmarked with stretches of action, romance, and drama as Olli Rose has to rebuild a life out of her circumstances and take control of her situation. Sensitive and interesting, this story deftly entertains and keeps the reader unable to put the book down as it charges forward.
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