Author Mary D. Brook’s novel ‘No Good Deed’ is a historical fictional tale about two women. The year’s 1951, Eva & Zoe are two star-crossed lovers who have suffered through the war and are now heading back to Australia to settle down and start a family. But life’s never that simple and a couple of life-altering events threaten to derail their future. And Eva’s paranormal powers and its revelation brings forth secrets & characters from her past that puts an even bigger strain on her love life. But the power of love and family is such that it can overcome even the harshest of challenges life throws its way.
There’s great chutzpah in the writing, especially in the novel’s dialogues. It’s a good wordy novel and a lot of the action takes place and is conveyed through finely written dialogue pieces. The characters are always mouthing clever and smart lines in accordance with their personalities established early on in the book. The novel will sometimes remind you of a movie script with the way each scene has been conceptualized, written and edited to form this seamless narrative that’s sure to keep your interest level at a constant. Since it’s set in the 1950’s a lot of detailing has gone into making the story believable and authentic. This is especially so because being gay and being a gay couple amidst a sea of judgmental heterosexuals would have been harder to pass off in that era compared to today’s times.
The lead characters in the book come across as both real and life-like and you imagine them existing outside the confines of the book’s narrative as well. The author also deserves praise for her effervescent way of dealing with religion and religious beliefs in the story. She busts many stereotypes along the way and presents various integers in a manner both theists and atheists alike will find acceptable.
There’s a bit of back and forth and tidbits in the narrative pertaining to events already taken place in the character’s past; for a new reader though all this information might leave them a bit aloof. But if you are willing to overlook a few minor missteps like these, this book can be read as a standalone new novel too. That being said, the ingenuity in the plot line and a couple of memorable characters are more than enough reasons to check out the other books in the series as well.
End of the day classifying it as just a good lesbian love story would be doing it a big injustice; it’s a great love story, period.