Monday, September 21, 2015

The Absinthe Association / Athenaide Dallett

Reviewed by: Pete Barber

Genre: Literary/Coming of Age

Approximate word count: 70-75,000 words

Kindle US: YES UK: YES Nook: NO Smashwords: NO Paper: NO
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store


Athenaide Dallett is a Litchfield County resident and Kent School English teacher. For more information about the author and her life visitthis website.


Based on a true story, the book chronicles the lives of a group of college grads who distill absinthe for fun, but find that its popularity in the underground music scene of Boston and Providence leads to dangerous consequences.


This is a fun, fast read. The writing is crisp and clever and peppered with lovely, fresh imagery. The story is simple, and probably insufficient to support a full-length novel if not for the amount of detail woven through the main plot line regarding the characters and settings.

I didn’t realize the novel was based on actual events experienced by the author until I was gathering information to write this review (you can find out more at the link above). Basing the story on real happenings gives the tale authenticity. But it may also explain why Ms. Dallett delved so deeply into some of the characters – perhaps conscious that they may read about themselves. Whether that’s the reason or not, for me, some of the backstory meandered too far from the plot, which slowed the pace, lowered the tension, and occasionally caused my focus to wander.

Overall, though, I enjoyed this well-constructed, unique story that has the added bonus of providing a first-hand insight into the lives of Ivy League students in the ‘90s.

Format/Typo Issues:


Rating: **** Four Stars

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