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Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite
Helen of Troy, Illinois is a very well written story of love and relationships by Annie Sereno. Helen is a young woman who seems to have it all; expensive clothes, a hectic social life in New York and a successful fiancé. However, this picture-perfect lifestyle is slowly shattered when she returns to her childhood home of Troy to sell the home she inherited with her mother, Lena. Lena has already promised the house to Gordon, the local vet and the nemesis of Phillip, Helen’s deceased first love. Throughout the novel, Helen battles her conflicting feelings of attraction to Gordon and loyalty to the memory of Phillip. Whilst in Troy, Helen slowly realises she has been living the life others want for her and not what makes her happy. She finally puts her feelings of guilt and need for approval behind her and embarks on the future and life she actually wants.
Helen of Troy, Illinois takes you on an emotional journey of love, family and relationships. Annie Sereno's descriptive writing of character and situations is compelling and realistic. The dialogue spoken by each character is very well thought out and in keeping with the traits of the character. The main story line examines the love/hate relationship between Helen and Gordon. I enjoyed the subtle hint of comedy within the dialogue as it made the relationship very authentic and something the reader would relate to. The sub plots were also very strong and well written, especially the difficult mother/daughter relationship between Helen and Lena. The twists and turns of the story are compelling and leave questions unanswered with each chapter. It is hard to put this book down once you start to read the first page.