Thursday, August 18, 2011

Heat Wave by Nancy Thayer

Heat WaveView a preview of this book online

Quoted from GoodReads;
"Unerringly perceptive, superbly written, every page packed with the warmth and compassionate wisdom that have become Nancy Thayer’s trademark, Heat Wave tells the moving story of a woman who, after her seemingly perfect life unravels, must find the strength to live and love again.
Making the startling discovery that her family finances are in dire straits is only the latest shock endured by Carley Winsted after her husband’s sudden death from a heart attack. Resisting her in-laws’ well-meaning overtures to take in Carley and her two daughters, the young widow instead devises a plan to keep her family in their beloved home, a grand historic house on the island of Nantucket.
The solution is right at Carley’s front door: transforming her expensive, expansive house into a bed-and-breakfast. Not everyone, however, thinks this plan prudent or quite respectable—especially not Carley’s mother-in-law. Further complicating a myriad of challenges, a friend forces Carley to keep a secret that, if revealed, will undo families and friendships.
When her late husband’s former law partner keeps showing up at the most unexpected times, Carley must cope with an array of mixed feelings. And then, during a late-summer heat wave, the lives of Carley and her friends and family will be forever changed in entirely unexpected ways.
Lyrical, emotional, dramatic, and ultimately wonderfully uplifting, Nancy Thayer’s latest novel is compelling from its first page to its last.

This novel started out with an interesting  story about a woman who loses her husband and then has to pick up the pieces of her life and go on.  I liked the basic idea of the novel and I even enjoyed the first third of this book.  It was a nice change from the crime novels I had been reading recently.  

The last two thirds of the book were less enjoyable.  The plot seemed to drag and sometimes the motivation of the characters was not clear.    Carley, the main character did not appear to go through the grief process after her husbands' death.  She moved from one situation into the next without a lot of reflection and it made her character appear flat.  As a reader, I just didn't care about her as much as I might have if her personality was more developed. 

The last part of the book was the hardest for me to believe.  I was really disappointed by the plot.  I did finish reading it, but found myself distracted by my own disbelief as the plot became   more and more "soap opera-ish".   

I finished this book feeling a little  sad that it didn't live up to my initial expectations.  I also felt a little insulted by the predictability of the plot.  I expect much more  from a novel.  I want to feel something as I read.  I want to care about the characters.  I want to be challenged by the plot, either emotionally or mentally.  I want to be sad that the story is coming to end end.  In this case, I felt sad, but only because  the story did not live up to my expectations.  Heatwave should have been a bittersweet tale about life and love and families.  Instead, it just left me with the bitter.

Thanks to GoodReads for the opportunity to read and review this book.

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