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Mild/Boring/Predictable. Not Compelled to Read On
on April 27, 2012
The cover is promising, but before you reach for the "buy" link, let's have the book speak for itself:
From the opening page: "He was so bright, so reliable. He wanted children. He was in love with her. She was in love with him, and the vision of their life together was enticing. But there was one enormous problem: Aaron had been invited to interview for a job in San Francisco."
My sarcastic reaction was: "Gasp! Not THAT!" This paragraph represents the type of superficial conflict that's going to occur throughout the book (and the shallow characters---"so bright, so reliable." (He drives a Volvo, by the way.)
The author has used her son-in-law's field of work for inspiration (she tells us that in the front matter). So you should also be prepared for lines like this, from p. 19:
"I was a biological and chemical safety officer at Weathersfield College outside Boston. I specialize in hazardous waste management. . . Chemical engineers and biosaftety officers are natural enemies. Chemical engineers are more cavalier with the rules than chemists . . ." And it goes on from here. The author's intention is probably to make these folks seem more intellectual. However, this should either be a light book---or not. The material doesn't blend together well.
In the "Famous Last Words" category, this appears on p. 31: "Natalie straightened defiantly. 'Maybe I don't want to meet a man, okay? Maybe I don't want to get married and have children. Maybe I don't want to believe a man when he says he loves me, and then he leaves me, and leaves my children, and never sees them again, and doesn't care if they live or die, and they grow up feeling worthless.'" Yeah, right.
There really aren't going to be any surprises here. And there's still more than 250 pages to go.
If you really feel compelled to read this on the beach, bring sunglasses to cover the eye rolling. No doubt the author's heart was in the right place, and sometimes predictable can feel as warm and comfortable as a fleece blanket. But not here. Even in the "light" category, you can surely find a more engaging book than this.