Saturday, October 29, 2016

Romance with Drama Stuffing

 Sometime in the summer, Peryl commented on how much she loved the new Marisa de los Santos.  The Edison library only had the ones I've already read, so I didn't take it out in the summer, but East Brunswick had the new one, so it made the Succos list.  I was definitely mildly excited to read it, because Peryl had liked it so much, but only mildly because 1) sorry Peryl, I just don't trust you ;) and 2) I have mildly enjoyed her previous books.  Here's what can be expected from them -  Definitely some romance, a good, solid romance.  Drama, drama, drama. Some serious stuff - I'm now starting notice some serious family stuff.  And good writing, if florid.  Honestly, it's hard to remember if I had all those expectations in mind, since this book delivered on them so patly. But if I didn't, I should have.

So let's go into each of those elements in a little more detail :) The romance - Persuasion-type old lovers reunite. Nicely drawing out the angst/suspense for the course of the book.  And certainly a lovely couple.  Not exactly the focus of the book, but, eh, that's expected.

Drama - Every relationship is meant to be, or doomed to fail.  Larger than life characters (born to be famous, uncannily omniscient).  Painful significance of every incident every decision.  You know the drill (or I do).

Serious family stuff - Well this one was really taken up a notch.  This is not your typical broken family.  Treated cruelly by his own father, Wilson rejects his "first" family completely and obsesses over his second.  And even after they reconcile, he remains unrepentant.  As a narrative device, it works, but pu-lease.  Totally, ridiculously, over the top.

And then there's the writing.  Yes, it's florid, altogether too full of similes and metaphors and turns of phrases.  But yes, it's good.  Good enough that despite all that other stuff I just talked about, this was still an enjoyable read. I mean, I wouldn't attribute that to the writing entirely - it did have the romance, the characters were mostly eminently likeable, and the subject matter generally wasn't terrible, but it takes some talent to keep a book like this moving.  And move it did - I had no problem finishing it Shabbos afternoon instead of sleeping. So points for that, and, yes, I will be looking forward to her next one (I may even read the ones she wrote together with her husband, which appear to be YA).

Verdict: 3.75/5

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