Beatrix Potter, in her book illustrations, carefully coordinating them with her narratives, capitalized on her keen observation and love of the natural world.
(This question is from Official Guide. Therefore, because of copyrights, the complete question cannot be copied here. The question can be accessed at GMAT Club)
The sentence starts with saying “Beatrix Potter, in her book illustrations”, so we expect that Beatrix Potter did something in her book illustrations. However, this part is then followed by a verb-ing modifier “carefully coordinating them with her narratives”. An observation: one modifier after the other in this structure does look awkward!
It seems that Beatrix Potter carefully coordinated these illustrations with her narratives. However, since “in her book illustrations” appears right before this modifier, it seems that she coordinated the book illustrations in her book illustrations! Therefore, the structure of the sentence doesn’t look amiable to clear understanding.
The sentence then says “capitalized on her keen observation and love of the natural world”. It seems that BP capitalized on her keen observation and love of the natural world by carefully coordinating book illustrations with her narratives.
All in all, there doesn’t seem to be a deterministic error. However, the structure of sentences leaves much to be desired.
(A) Incorrect. For the distorted structure of the sentence.
(B) Incorrect. Just as in the original sentence, it seems that BP carefully coordinated book illustrations in her book illustrations (since “in her book illustrations” immediately precedes “carefully coordinating them” – them stands for book illustrations). Also, the presence of two clause modifiers – one after the other – makes the structure of the sentence awkward.
(C) Correct. Using a relative clause, this option makes the sentence clear. Now, the meaning of the sentence is that in her book illustrations, BP capitalized on her qualities. The “which” clause provides additional information about book illustrations. The “which” clause means that BP carefully coordinated these book illustrations with her narratives. Therefore, this sentence is grammatically and logically correct.
(D) Incorrect. The opening verb-ed modifier “coordinated” modifies the subject of the clause “Beatrix Potter”, meaning that BP herself was carefully coordinated with her narratives. Clearly, the meaning is illogical and not intended.
(E) Incorrect. This structure clearly means that BP coordinated book illustrations (them) in her book illustrations – an illogical meaning.