I finished this book on a recent flight as I left on vacation and I was sad to see it end. I was definitely glad I was already in flight because I would have been hard pressed not to grab my passport and head to Scotland for castles, reeling and kilted gentlemen!
The main character grew on me as we went along, though the same cannot for some of the other characters. Evie's family is mentioned a lot and seeming bombshell events from the past are mentioned, but it all seems like a surface writing. It almost feels like Evie isn't really related to them because while she's annoyed by them when they interfere in her life, she's otherwise unconcerned by them. Her sister behaves very uncharacteristically at one point and Evie is content to text her and lie for her instead of going to find out what the hell is going on. And then the sister's explanation is ludicrous, but apparently true, since everyone just accepts it. I really enjoyed the interplay between Evie and Rob because while it follows the chick lit trope that the first standoffish man who interacts with our heroine will end up her love interest, it doesn't get too serious too fast.
I actually think this book would work better as a movie because reading about reeling is like dancing about architecture (to borrow a phrase). There were times I was definitely confused by the descriptions, but if you are a reeling enthusiast, you probably know what she's talking about. That said, it would make a perfect Saturday afternoon Lifetime movie (like I Do, But I Don't). Are you listening, Hollywood?!
June 03, 2011The Love Goddess' Cooking School by Melissa Senate
I'm piteously behind on the reading challenge, but I keep plugging along. When my commute changes this fall, I'm hoping I'll have a chance to catch up or at least read more than one book a month.
Melissa Senate has been one of my favorite authors since I first saw See Jane Date on Lifetime and decided to read the book it was based on. Sometimes, her books are funny, sometimes poignant. But this one was just exactly what I needed to read today, as I'm moving apartments and spending most of the day just sitting, waiting for various deliveries and technicians to make their appointments. It's a story of coming to a new, old place and finding yourself at home, making old traditions your own and creating a life for yourself that you always knew you deserved.
I loved the main character, who comes back to a tiny town in Maine, as her grandmother passes, and takes over her grandmother's cooking school. She's broken-hearted, but quickly finds ways to throw herself into being a teacher, a friend, a surrogate mother and soon, a girlfriend again. Senate includes the recipes in the back of the book and I feel like I should copy them, even though I can't cook at all. All the characters Holly runs into by chance and on purpose are well-drawn and interesting. Everyone has their burdens they are working through, but no one is insufferable about it.
Senate also has a great way of describing Maine. Just like last time, reading about Blue Crab island, makes me want to ditch this metropolis and go to Maine right this second. I've been to Maine once and didn't find it all that charming, but these beautiful houses with charming men and rowboats just tug at me. I guess good writing can do that!