Thursday, November 25, 2010

Things I dislike...


     I've started reading Lakeshore Christmas by Susan Wiggs, it's part of The Lakeshore Chronicles, a series I've enjoyed so far.  I don't know if I can get through this book.  The description starts out:
The prim Librarian...
     My first reaction was "Why does she have to be prim?"  But I'm open minded and I won't judge the book yet.  I open the book and come across the dedication and it reads:
To the many librarians I know -- and to the many more I've never met... You have no idea how much you enrich people's lives. Or maybe you do. I hope you do. Thank you.
     Ok this made me feel better, she appreciates and likes librarians.  So maybe it's not that bad, maybe it's just the desciption which to my knowledge the authors do not have control over.
     I was wrong.  The stereotype is hers, the librarian feels she's plain in her tweed skirt, tights, boots and T-shirt.  She looks through her think lens and tends to pull her hair back and wears no makeup.  She loves books and is freakishly organized.  She lives alone, doesn't date much, and has cats.  And of course our hero is a former child star and will be the one to break her of the stereotype.

     I'm only two chapters into the book and I really dislike this character. This story is going to be a pain to read, but I'll force myself to read it and move onto the next book in the series.  I'm can't promise I won't throw this book numerous times.  Not just because of the stereotype there's also a feel of mysterious Christmas happenings, which just bugs me because the other stories in the series have been grounded in reality so to throw that in is just screwy.

     I have since finished this book and it really didn't get much better.  They just kept up with the stereotypes of both the librarian and the former child star, the story kept forcing this commercialized view of Christmas being this amazing time to be with family and where miracles come true. And just incase you read this and can't pick up on it the mysterious boy who shows up is the ghost of the boy who died in the fire 100 years before.  You know because this story is sooo grounded in reality.
     Like I said before, if the whole series had some supernatural feel to it, I would have liked this story a little more.  If they had decided to break away from the stereotypes this story would have been a lot better.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Book Club - November

This month's book was Snowfall at Willow Lake by Susan Wiggs.  It's book #4 in the Lakeshore Chronicles.  I ended up reading books 1-3 first and am now reading through the series.  Wait for my next post on another book in the series.

- The Story -
     International lawyer Sophie Bellamy has dedicated her life to helping people in war-torn countries. But when she survives a hostage situation, she remembers what matters most—the children she loves back home. Haunted by regrets, she returns to the idyllic Catskills village of Avalon on the shores of Willow Lake, determined to repair the bonds with her family.     There Sophie discovers the surprising rewards of small-town life—including an unexpected passion for Noah Shepherd, the local veterinarian. Noah has a healing touch for anything with four legs, but he's never had any luck with women—until Sophie.
     Snowfall at Willow Lake speaks from the heart about all the loves that fill a woman's life, and all the ways that love is tested and made to grow. It's the story of what comes after a woman survives an unspeakable horror and finds her way home, to healing and redemption and a new chance at happiness. -- From Product Description

- The Characters -

Sohpie-  Having read the previous books in the series I came into this story with a not so nice view of Sophie.  She seemed cold and detached, but I think that may be how we were supposed to see her, in helps in her transformation through this story.  She faced something traumatic and sees it as a wake up call to change her life and reconnect with those that are most important to her. 

Noah-  Noah was introduced in a previous book as a date to the heroine.  He's the sweet boy next door who went off got his degree and returned home. 

- Discussion -

     We didn't hate it, like The-book-that-won't-be-named, but it wasn't overall great.  The characters seemed a little flat and one dimensional and the story almost seemed forced and rushed.  Someone brought up that it seemed like she had to finish the book to meet a publisher's deadline. I filled everyone in on the other stories before this and compared to those this story was lacking a bit.  While it isn't my least favorite story in the series it isn't high up on my list.
     Sophie moves to Avalon, NY, it's where her kids are and her ex-husband who has recently gotten remarried (previous book in series).  She's moved here to change her life and be a mother and now grandmother.  It's a big change and at first she seems to struggle with the decision but she starts to make a life for herself that she's content with and seems to agree with her.  Her first night there she meets Noah and things just start right off with them, but it keeps stalling because of Sophie.  She doesn't want to get into anything, she wants to focus on her kids, she's older than he is, blah blah blah.
     Noah grew up in Avalon, went off to college and became a Vet, then moved back home to his parent's farm and turned it into his office/home.  He likes outdoor activities, does the winter triathlon, wants a big family; he's basically the perfect man.  Yes he has his faults but who cares, everyone does.

There isn't much more I can think of to say about this book.  I didn't dislike it, but I didn't like it, it was just the next book in the series and this month's book club read.  I got to see how the characters that we've met have moved on and got introduced to characters that will show up in books of their own next.