Thursday, July 10, 2014

July 10: Reading, reading, reading!

The Ashford AffairThe Ashford Affair by Lauren Willig
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Well written, but *very* predictable story, combined with one of those flashback/flashforward, trite plots. Characters are shallow, and the story basically feels like White Nights, a movie/book story about lust and crimes of passion in Kenya. . . . Shows little to none of Willig's usual sense of humor.

That SummerThat Summer by Lauren Willig
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Now in THIS one, Willig has stepped up her game away from the Flower spy stories and far exceeded The Ashford Affair's dreary predictability. Yes, this novel jumps time periods AND has echoes of another work (Possession by AS Byatt), but That Summer is well-written and pretty darn hard to put down. The idea of inheriting a house full of stuff--treasures OR junk--is before and after fodder and pretty compelling; the story in the past becomes quite involving as well. I ended up really enjoying this one, but the challenge for Willig will be to write a novel that never changes time period and never uses the word "slaphappy," which she used, annoyingly, at least four times in this one. Otherwise, highly recommended!

Chestnut StreetChestnut Street by Maeve Binchy
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Wellllllllllllllll. It was, truly, "okay": a patchwork collection of stories loosely connected by their setting (?), but lacking any sense of coherence or connection otherwise. The usual Binchy characters showed up and meandered around. I skimmed quite a bit. End of story.

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