Nina Bennett reviews Lisa Brognano's In the Interest of Faye
Golden Antelope Press
Lisa Brognano is good at description; the physical settings in In the Interest of Faye are adequately depicted, enabling the reader to visualize the scene. The plot is interesting, but character development could be stronger. The basis of the novel is that the art gallery Faye manages is being sold to an entrepreneur, and Faye wants to prevent that from happening. The other characters all conveniently step in to “rescue” her; however, the tension that her situations would produce is not apparent, and several of the rescue situations seem highly unlikely. The people are stereotypes, without enough background to see what makes them tick. Much of what the reader learns about the characters is accomplished through things other characters tell us. The actions of the main character, Faye, are impractical and flighty, which rather contradicts other characters’ descriptions of her as smart and passionate about art and the small, private gallery she runs. Encounters between Faye, an art curator, and visitors to the gallery about a piece of modern art, and discussing what they see in the piece, how it makes them feel, are well –written and give the reader a peek into Faye’s love and knowledge of art.
Perhaps in the current environment of constant bad news, a novel full of happy endings is welcome. I don’t object to happy endings, but I’d like to see the characters earn them. I’ll admit that may be the Boomer in me; we were raised with the mantra that you can achieve anything if you work hard enough. I’d like to become caught up in the drama and tension and close calls of Faye’s life, and I’d like to be able to cheer for the main character. It isn’t that I disliked Faye; it’s more that I found myself not caring.
Nina Bennett is the author of Mix Tape