It's been eight years since the death of her husband, leaving her to raise their son on her own. Both her son and her small business are thriving, and True's life is full. Coming up on 43 makes True realize that there is an empty space in her life that friends and family cannot fill. She feels her youth and beauty slipping away, and the possibility for romance has never seemed more remote.
But everything changes the moment True and her beloved assistant, Isabelle, slide into a snow-filled ditch on the drive home. Saved by a young man she met earlier at the restaurant, True comes face to face with the opportunity to let love back into her life, that is, if she can overcome her own fears, and if these two spirits can find a way to tame each other's wild hearts and curb each other's supremely independent natures.
©2003 Jacquelyn Mitchard; (P)2003 HarperCollins Publishers
"Mitchard's characters are appealing." (Booklist)
"Narrator Robin Miles delivers the story in straightforward fashion and creates various voices and accents from Cape Cod to New Orleans to color the dialogue." (AudioFile)
This is a compelling book that packs more living into twelve months than most people experience in a lifetime. The author creatively winds the story through a complex tapestry of characters and cultures while tackling the issues of age differences and the tensions between male/female priorities in life -- quite a challenge and for the most part, successfully handled. Character development is a real strength of this author and it was delight to hear all the details she chose to paint a continually evolving picture of the major characters.
Perhaps it was the strength of the character development that led to my significant disappointment with the last quarter of this novel. When faced with their biggest challenges, the protagonists that had been so deftly created to be bigger than life suddenly seemed to diminish like a deflating balloon. The rationale for their actions and their final decisions were trite and immature; the resolution to their dilemma (very predictable) seemed very out of sync with the supposed maturing of the characters. A canvas created for a spectacular climax was completely wasted on a wimpy ending.
Three-quarters of the way through I was certain this was a 5-star book and I was making a list of the people I wanted to share it with. I'll give three stars for the quality of writing, the creativity of the story and the characters that are truly brought to life. But I'd recommend reading it only three-quarters of the way and then imagining your own ending.
Although the beginning was hard to follow, overall this was a great book. It moved along with its twists and turns of everyday life. The end could have been done with more of a plot ....... it just lagged.
I really wanted to like this book, but I did not enjoy it at all.
The book seemed to plod along and about half way through I just stopped being interested in what was going to happen next.
The narration seemed to make True, the main character, even more whingy and annoying than I imagine she appears in the written form.
If the quality of a book is determined by its ability to emotionally engage the reader/listener, then this is a good book. However, in order to like this book, you better like selfish, arrogant, power hungry, heartless women who speak of but are unable to love.
The book's main character, True, turns 43, is widowed, and a successful business woman. When she recognizes that she needs a husband and a father for her 10 year old boy, she approaches the problem like she does as Founder, President and CEO of her company "12 Times Blessed". She picks a man who is significantly younger, less educated, and finacially less secure. Incidentally, virtually all her personal friends and relationships are either employees or, like her mother, financially dependent on her.
When her husband, Hank, makes a questionable decision, she predictably seizes the opportunity to establish her supremacy in their relationship. The book culminates in her blissfully dictating her terms of endearment to her husband, her mother and her brother ... and everybody else.
The book is classified as a romance, however, I find nothing romantic in the story at all.
I choose this book because "Breakdown Lane" was one of my favorite Audible listens. I had also listened to "Cage of Stars" and although it doesn't stand out as a favorite, I do remember enjoying it. I was extremely disappointed in this book. When I tried to pinpoint what the problem was with this book, I think it all boils down to the fact that I didn't care about any of the characters. Some were annoying & others were forgetable. I am sort of a snob about abridged books because I don't want someone else deciding what is important and what isn't in a book, but I can see that this book would have probably benefited by being abridged. There was no reason for it to drag on for as long as it did. I am not going to give up on Ms. Mitchard, but I will definitely pay close attention to what other reviewers say next time.
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