Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Steps, by Rachel Cohn

When Annabel is abandoned at Xmas by her Mom and Grandmother in NYC, she gets sent halfway around the planet to Melbourne to spend the holidays with her father and his new family. At first Annabel hates everything she sees there, but most especially the way her father is so happy with his new life. With time, however, she grows to like it more and even appreciate the joys of having an extended family of "Steps."

Rachel Cohn created a wonderful character with Gingerbread but it seems like she is in a rut. Annabel comes off as being a slightly younger version of the heroine of that other novel. In fact, for allegedly being about three years younger, Annabel doesn't sound all that different. Add to that the way this story treads through familiar ground and chug along to a far too sweet happy ending, and you have a pretty dreary story.

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