06/05/2013 10:09 am ET Updated Aug 05, 2013

White's Talent Is Ripe in THE TIME BETWEEN

Book Review Jackie K Cooper

Karen White's talent as a novelist has been growing by leaps and bounds, one book after another. Now the fruit of her talent is ripe with the story she titled THE TIME BETWEEN. This book is Karen White at her best. It is her most absorbing book, her most definitive book, her most enjoyable book.

It is a completely contemporary story that at the same time seems almost gothic. We have a young woman named Eleanor being asked by her employer Mr. Finn Beaufain to be a companion to his great aunt Helena, and a nanny of sorts to his young daughter Gabby. This requires her go to a secluded mansion on Edisto Island. Eleanor spent her childhood on Edisto Island and it is the scene of some of the tragedies of her life.

As Eleanor learns more and more about Helena and her background, she also learns more about herself. She begins to ponder the relationship she has with her sister, one which has always involved guilt for her sister's paralysis. She also is conflicted about her feelings for her sister's husband.

The story evolves fully as the days pass. The characters are completely fleshed out and a myriad of plot points are all drawn together in a final revelation that breaks Eleanor free from her past. The time between her tragedies and her freedom make up the bulk of the story.

White writes effortlessly about a variety of characters and captures them all. Then she peppers her words with some of the most telling and descriptive phrases you have read in a long time. White is one of those rare writers who not only knows the English language fully, she commands it to bend to her will. Different phrases appear in her sentences which fully create the mood and ambience of place and time.

It has been amazing to watch White's transition from casual writer to dedicated artist, and THE TIME BETWEEN is a work of art. White is a craftsman who has fashioned a word picture that is dramatically deep and externally pretty. This is a combination you cannot resist.

There are a plethora of new summer reads available to you. Some are light hearted stories for the beach, and others are deep mysteries that will keep you chilled. Still I defy you to find a more totally satisfying story than THE TIME BETWEEN. Karen White's talent is ripe for the taking and you can experience it with this staggeringly well written novel.

THE TIME BETWEEN is published by NAL. It contains 352 pages and sells for $25.95.

Jackie K Cooper