I came across this book while visiting my mother’s, if I’m being honest, I needed something to fill the time; asking her if it was worth the read, she couldn’t remember, so I decided I needed to find out for myself. Glutton for punishment and all. I had vaguely heard of this author and I know she has a good cluster of books, so I figured that can’t be a bad thing, right? Read on and see what I thought!
Marian Caldwell; rich, successful, driven and living the life she always thought she wanted, but despite that, is going through the motions. The night her boyfriend tells her that he doesn’t know if he’s ready for marriage, becomes a catalyst of changes in her perfectly planned out life. The world she carefully constructed for herself starts to crumble when a secret she thought she’d buried and hidden 18 years ago comes to light. The secret is revealed very early on in the book as Marian’s biological daughter, Kirby, whom she gave up for adoption, even hiding her pregnancy to her own father and her then boyfriend. As the book progresses, Marian has to come to terms with the person she presented to everyone in the life she created and the Marian who she truly was hiding.
Break it Down:
The premise of the book contained some good parts, successful, beautiful, living in a well-off area of New York and has a stable relationship with an equally successful man. Cliche, cliche and this is usually the part where I roll my eyes and put the book down, but cliches are not always a bad thing, right? Considering that Kirby and Marian were the main characters, I felt like more time was spent on the build-up of events, rather than the events themselves. So much of the book was spent on Marian and Kirby’s painfully awkward and superficial meeting that it left me feeling void, this was repeated again when the author built up the emotions of the main characters on their way to meeting Kirby’s biological father, Conrad. When the meeting did eventually occur, it was lacking in creating a great emotional connection for the reader, it was almost rushed or played off as unimportant when all the while the book was building up to this point. Ironically, as Marian’s character was a writer for a television program, it felt like the whole book could have been a television show, so many inconsequential events were inserted as fillers for the lack of content. For example, as cute as I found Kirby’s blossoming relationship with Philip (her 1st boyfriend), I didn’t find it necessary for the development of the story, especially when it so obviously missed the mark with developing more on Kirby and Marian’s characters and relationship or lack thereof. I felt like the ending was rushed, like the author’s idea of the heroine attempting to figure her life out—but, it lacked the profound realisation that it needed to make an impact. I’d be lying if I wasn’t willing Marian and Conrad back together and I was slightly disappointed that it didn’t end with then sharing a passionate kiss, but it did make me smirk knowing the author left the suspense there. I felt like the author could have explored more of who Marian really was because to me- I didn’t finish the book knowing any more about her than when it began. I didn’t dislike her, I was just indifferent to her character and as one of the main characters— that’s a bit of a shame.
It actually took me a while to get into this book, it didn’t initially hook me and it was only when Marian started to reconnect with her biological daughter that pushed me to keep turning the pages because I was so interested to see how that dynamic would play out. I didn’t feel by the end of the book that I connected with Marian’s character and I felt that it should have explored Kirby’s life more because her character showed more complexity for the reader. I felt the author’s character development was very superficial and she didn’t create interesting characters which made me instantly fall in love with or hate for that matter. I wasn’t bothered either way, which I don’t think is every a good thing. Maybe it’s because I didn’t find any commonality with the characters, but it should be the author’s job, to hook in some way, even if it means we hate the character- at least it’s an emotion.
The RnR Rating:
2.5 out of 5
Would You Recommend It?
Honestly, it’s meh. I would recommend this book only if someone needed a very, very light read, something not too stimulating. It is very much a “summer read”, light, flaky with zero substance and I say this begrudgingly as I’ve read some “summer reads” that are riveting and that I would recommend.