Friday, August 16, 2013

Sweet Karoline by Catherine Astolfo

Published by Imajin Books

Today she killed Karoline. Didn't she? This book is a psychological first person journey within the mind of Anne. A very unique yet intriguing stroll of how she perceives herself, how she believes others perceive themselves, and how it all went wrong. But where did it go wrong, exactly? Does she really know? And though we know at the beginning of the book what Karoline's cause of death is, we do not know how it happened, we can only surmise from hints.

The death of Karoline puts Anne into a tailspin, one she doesn't know how to stop, and probably one in which she doesn't know if she wants to stop. Past, present and future all seem to be intertwined. When she finds a box of letters written by Karoline but purportedly written by Anne she begins a journey of discovery and madness. Most importantly, she must begin to discover herself and this is one thing she can do, though not without Karoline's hatred following her. She must have a true acknowledgment of self both good and bad in order to become her true self.

Finding her family is the first step to recovery from the depth of her self reproach. The journey is one of bewilderment and danger, loss of friendship and self. Who is really writing the diary? Is it Karoline or is it Anne? Why does her family, long unknown to her, calling Karoline the "other Anne?" But fulfillment is ahead as Anne begins to learn her family history, bond with her very ill mother and her siblings. There is so much she doesn't know and must learn as quickly as possible or her whole life may come tumbling down again. This book was written in a compelling manner. I found myself drawn in more the more I read. Life is never all it seems and truth is not always easy to seek, find, or accept. I fell in love with Anne and her family as well as the acceptance it brought. Catherine Astolfo has created a fine-tuned instrument that brings music to heal the soul.

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