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Love, "Identity" (reviewed by Tristi Pinkston) Options · View
jeffneedle
Posted: Monday, April 09, 2012 8:09:37 PM

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Review
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Title: Identity
Author: Betsy Love
Publisher: Walnut Springs
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
Year Published: 2011
Number of Pages: 309
Binding: Trade Paperback
ISBN10: n/a
ISBN13: 978-1-935217-95-4
Price: $17.99

Reviewed by Tristi Pinkston for the Association for Mormon Letters

Savannah is a Mormon from Arizona, trying to decide what to do with the next phase of her life. She and her friend Haley take a trip to Mexico, and while there, Savannah decides to follow through with her childhood dream of serving a mission. She’ll fill out her papers when she returns from vacation.

Amelia is an heiress with her finger in a pot of gold as she works with her fiancé, Brent, on a new innovation for their company that will make them even more rich. She’s definitely not impressed with the vacation spot he chooses—with all the lovely hotels in Mexico, why did he have to choose this one, that’s barely adequate for her needs?

When Savannah and Amelia meet up on the flight home, they make a shocking discovery—they look enough alike to be twins. When a plane crash disfigures one and kills the other, their bereaved families make a crucial mistake and take Amelia home in Savannah’s place.

As amnesia keeps Amelia trapped in a haze of confusion, she tries to fit into Savannah’s perfect Mormon world where answers are only a prayer away, love is flowing and abundant, and no one smokes or drinks. She’s told she used to believe the Church was true, but she doesn’t recognize the principles at all—most seem completely insane to her. But there’s more going on than just the wrong girl in the wrong place. Someone wants Amelia dead, and they’ve figured out she’s still alive.

"Identity" is the first novel by author Betsy Love. At first glance, a storyline about mistaken identity seems a little cliché, but I was kept involved in the story with the lush descriptions, the twists and turns, and by the end, I liked Amelia a lot more than I did at the beginning. She has a good character arc that brings her from pampered princess to someone I could cheer on.

I did feel that elements of the book were a bit preachy as Savannah’s family tried so hard to remind their “daughter” of the truthfulness of the gospel. It’s difficult, in fiction, to convey a scene where a devout believer is sharing their testimony with someone who does not believe and to keep the balance between storytelling and preaching. That said, however, I enjoyed the read, especially the twists at the end, and I would recommended the book to anyone who would like to take a mental vacation to the sandy beaches of Mexico and escape the clutches of a ruthless villain while they’re at it.
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