- Fizzy Thoughts: Going to Bend

Going to Bend

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Going to Bend
Diane Hammond
March 2005
336 pages

I bought this book in Sunriver, because I'm weird and I like to buy books about places where I'm vacationing. And, as I believe I've mentioned before, Oregon has no sales tax. Which, when you come from the land of 7.75%, is something that can't not be taken advantage of.

Despite the title, this book has nothing to do with Bend. Well, okay, there's a teensy bit at the end about Bend, but that's all. I'm feeling lazy, so let's see what the publisher has to say...

Publisher Comments:
In the small coastal town of Hubbard, Oregon, your man may let you down, your boss may let you down, life may let you down . . . but your best friend never will.

Welcome to Hubbard, where Petie Coolbaugh and Rose Bundy have been best friends since childhood. Now in their early thirties, both are grappling to come to terms with their age and station in life. As they struggle to make ends meet and provide for their children and the good-hearted but unreliable men in their lives, they take jobs cooking for a brand-new upscale restaurant, Souperior's Cafe, starting from scratch every morning to produce gallons of fresh soup from local recipes. The proprietors of the cafe, Nadine and Gordon, are fraternal twins from Los Angeles with adjustments of their own to make, but Rose’s warmth and the quality of the women’s soups quickly make them indispensable despite Petie’s abrupt manner and prickly ways.

The strains of daily life are never far, however, and the past takes its toll on the women. Petie’s childhood as the daughter of the town drunk—a subject she won't talk about—keeps her at a distance from even her best friend, until an unexpected romance threatens to crack her tough exterior. And despite Rose's loving personality, the only man in her life is a loner fisherman who spends only a few months of the year in town.

In this fishing village, friends are for life and love comes in the most unexpected ways. As the novel draws together lovers, husbands, employers, friends, and family, each woman finds possibilities for love and even grace that she had never imagined.
First, let me nit-pick. The cover so does not go with the book. Because Hubbard is not a bright cheery place. It's bleak, and cold, and rainy. People are struggling to make ends meet in a poor fishing town. So the cover does not reflect the mood of this book (at least for me).

Despite that, this was an enjoyable book. Not fantastic (like The Lace Reader), but not a total dog (like In the Woods), either.

5 comment(s):

trish said...

You didn't like In the Woods??? I just bought it on the recommendation of a friend, Jessica (both eyes book blog), who said it's the best mystery she's ever read. I'm not even going to go back and read your review 'till I've read it...I don't want any bad vibes on that book; it looks so good!!

Dar said...

This book sounds like an easy kind of read. I do love this cover though even though it doesn't accurately portray the area. It would hav caught my attention.

softdrink said...

Trish...nope, and the review will post tomorrow, so stay away!

Rachael said...

This is on my list to track and down and read someday. So it was kind of fun to read a review about it. Someone recommended it to me a long time ago and I can't remember what they thought was good about it.

anne said...

Oh, I find it very annoying when a cover doesn't match the book...there should be a law or something. I don't want to read this book just because of that. Eek, how petty am I?

In a real sense, people who have read good literature have lived more than people who cannot or will not read. It is not true that we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish. ~S.I. Hayakawa

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
~St. Augustine

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.
~Mark Twain

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