Unwritten

Charles Martin. Center Street (Hachette, dist.), $21.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-4555-0395-7
A kind-hearted priest brings together two celebrities who have faked their own deaths in Martin's ninth novel (after Thunder and Rain). Katie, a renowned actress, and Peter, a notable children's author, use failed suicide attempts to confront past demons. The novel reads as much like a mystery as a romance since neither main character reveals their past until the final third of the book. Unfortunately, this lack of back story, as well as the fact that they both have achieved a degree of wealth and fame that trumps any Trump, can leave the reader feeling like they've stumbled upon a modern day romantic allegory instead of a character-driven work of fiction. Martin is at his best when describing the invisibility Peter feels leading his life outside of the limelight. The book also takes on the power of reading and writing which also plays an important part in the climax. Throughout, the trappings expensive cars, private planes and French chateaus keep the reader's sympathies removed from whatever past tragedies haunt these two, but for those who like their romances on the fantastical side there's more than enough of the lives of the rich and famous to keep one engaged. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/06/2013
Release date: 05/07/2013
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