Sins of the Father (Wellington Estates Book 1)

by Sunanda J. Chatterjee

Synopsis

Psychologist Laura Carson works as a model to make enough money to open her own practice. When she literally runs into Harrison McNamara, a police officer investigating the very modeling agency Laura works for, the mutual attraction is immediate.

With a good-natured push from Laura’s best friend, Juhi, the two become a couple. Their developing romance is not simple, however. Both Laura and Harrison are haunted by their pasts. Neither can fully trust the other, even when danger threatens.

Theme of the Book

Sins of the Father demonstrates the strength of family ties for both good and bad. How does a difficult childhood affect the people we become as adults? Can a damaged child grow into a loving and trusting person? Sins of the Father provides an answer to these questions but the answer is not always easy. Ms. Chatterjee writes that love can only grow when there is trust.

What I Liked About the Story

In this book, Ms. Chatterjee has managed to create a tightly woven plot that combines both romance and suspense. By skipping back in time, she enables the reader to understand the motivations, strengths, and weaknesses of her main characters. These characters are always believable. Laura suffers from her father’s actions and has become an insecure, suspicious, and somewhat fearful adult. Despite her beauty and intelligence, she has weaknesses that all readers will be able to identify with.

Harrison has also been affected by his father’s actions. It is his childhood story that inspired him to become a police officer and to help others in distress. Although he can sense Laura’s distress, it takes him time to overcome his own inability to trust and to form lasting relationships.

Juhi, Laura’s friend, comes from a very conservative Brahmin family and the reader can sense her conflict between her family’s culture and her desire to live her own life. Juhi is a common character type in Ms. Chatterjee’s work, but this simply means that her conflicts are truly realistic. Ms. Chatterjee clearly portrays the difficulties of a multi-cultural family and the strength it takes for a young woman to break free of the limits her family places on her.

Sins of the Father also has an element of crime and suspense. This thread provides the path for Laura and Harrison to finally connect.

What I Didn’t Like About the Story

While the main characters are well developed, the secondary characters of Harrison’s sister, Laura’s father, and Juhi’s boyfriend, along with model Elena, are more one-dimensional and less believable. They are integral to the plot and deserve better treatment.

At times, Ms. Chatterjee’s writing becomes clichéd. For example, when Harrison is thinking about the models in the case he is working on, he thinks “he could save them from the clutches of the devious professor”. The reader forms a mental picture of a professor twirling his moustache and leering. Or in describing a sunset, Ms. Chatterjee writes that “the sky blushed like a bride”. These two examples are unworthy of a writer of Ms. Chatterjee’s caliber.

Finally, Ms. Chatterjee seems to have an almost 1950-ish view of men and women. At one point, she writes that “His presence in the condo would change the dynamic from the estrogen-heavy aura of tea and tears over bad dates to a thrilling and hopeful air of anticipation and stability” as if two women spend all of their time with tea and tears. Her female characters do not lack talent or intelligence yet always seem to need a husband or father figure to take care of them.

Final Say

Ms. Chatterjee is a very good writer. In her work she tends to have strong yet fairly conservative women facing the problems and crises of life. Fans of romance will love Sins of the Father and should look forward to more in the Wellington Estate series.

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