Friday, July 31, 2009
After five cancer-free years, April Newton should be celebrating, but instead she's restless. She feels her husband slipping away, and though the spectacular, stylish house he's building for her should be a fresh start, April finds herself wanting something more. As their move-in date approaches, she becomes obsessed with winning the right to buy the last bungalow in Redondo Beach, convinced that the quirky, lived-in little house represents comfort, completeness-everything she is missing in her life. And though her quest for the bungalow will take some surprising twists, it may put back together the pieces of her heart.
Like Care, I read this one after I read The Only True Genius in the Family, and while enjoyable, it didn’t quite impress me as much. I think I need to take a break between books by the same author, otherwise I usually end up a little disappointed.
Also, like Care, I didn’t fall in love with April, probably because we have nothing in common and I thought she was just floating along, complaining about her unhappiness, but not really taking steps to confront or fix anything. But the bungalow. Oh, the bungalow. I definitely fell in love with that, and it’s owner. The bungalow scenes and stories were actually my favorite parts of the book.
I think part of the reason why I wasn’t as excited with this one, compared to True Genius, is that the families are a bit similar. There is a loving husband and a wife who is vaguely dissatisfied/unhappy. In both stories the husbands are supportive, but remain in the background while the wife muddles through her emotions and unhappiness largely on her own. And then she comes to a measure of understanding and resolution by the end. Don’t get me wrong, both books are well written and enjoyable reads, but I think I did them a disservice by reading them back-to-back.