Roger Storkamp’s comments of The Courier by Dorothy Macchio
The Courier is an ambitious project threading a family trust of international curriers through four and a half centuries of European intrigue and weaving a network of cousins struggling to continue the tradition thrust upon them. Bernice Wheeler San Giacomo, a mirror image of the family trust she represents, is being shuffled into retirement after a final assignment. Irony, a common theme of youth rejuvenating an enterprise, in this case, elder women replacing elder-elder women. The solution, as in most family corporations, Patriarch or matriarch forced to join the board of directors.
Origin of the family trust, introduced in the prologue, develops as cousins piece together parts of family lore, filling in gaps either designed or a natural result of any clandestine operation. Setting (time and place) is skillfully recreated for the reader. History reads like a Wikipedia search and sitting rooms, bedrooms, and libraries are described with vivid detail to enhance the environment in which characters interact.
The flaw, if any, is with Dorothy’s portrayal of characters. How they look and what they do and think are artfully described, but similar to her description of setting. Places and things rely totally on the author’s skill with language; characters need to interact independent of the author creating them. Dorothy’s dialogue is realistic, however, points of view flips from one character to another, never giving depth to any of them.