**spoiler alert** It was a good story. Katie made a pig-headed mistake when she was younger(choosing someone else over our hero Booker), then regrette**spoiler alert** It was a good story. Katie made a pig-headed mistake when she was younger(choosing someone else over our hero Booker), then regretted the decision soon after but allowed her pride to keep her from coming back. Two years later, Katie returns home destitute and pregnant. Her parents reject her and the only person willing to help her is Booker. And thus their trek into love begins.
Like I said, good story. So why only 3 stars? Because some of it bothered me. At one point, Booker manages to find her a great job opportunity with a guy named Mike, who she had a huge crush on for years. The job would be bookkeeping at $15 an hour, lodging included. Katie finds out Mike was talked into it by Booker and is upset by it, so she says no to the job and instead offers to cook and clean for Booker while she gets her web designing business up and running.
See, it bothers me because Katie made the mistake of letting her pride rule her and it nearly destroyed her the first time. This time, her pride is wounded by the "charity", and she can't seem to understand she should be grateful to both men for this chance to really make a good life for her and her baby.
Don't even get me started on how mad she gets at Booker when she thinks he is fooling around with another woman. Her pride steered her right out of his house and into Mike's pretty fast after that. Booker and her were not an item by this point, yet she was acting pouty and mad like she had made a claim on him.
I just felt like Katie didn't learn anything by the end of the book. Everyone loves her again at the end, accepting that she was grown enough to make her own choices, but not ever letting her know that pride goes before the fall.
h decides on a "harebrained" scheme(don't worry, if you forget the scheme is harebrained, she will remind you several times)t***SPOLER ALERTS AHEAD***
h decides on a "harebrained" scheme(don't worry, if you forget the scheme is harebrained, she will remind you several times)to stage a false betrothal to the H, her best friend/rakish little scamp who really does love her. This is just to get her estranged parents back together, who lived separately after her father gets drunk and sleeps with a whore on a dare(though h doesn't know that bit)years ago. Okay, so here are my issues;
1. Sophia insists constantly, and cartoonishly, that she will NOT ever get married. 2. Though Sophia is a grown woman, as she professes every other interaction with her parents, she whines and cries and huffs at them to get together as if she is only five. Mind you, parents have been separated for over 14 years at this point, a well-set reality for this "mature woman" 3. Sophia rambles. If her H talks about kissing her, she talks about all the ways she will hurt him. So charming.
4. The romance between the H/h is overshadowed by the angry romance of h's parents, which brings me to another point. 5. Her father is angry at not being forgiven for cheating on his wife. I realize that sort of thing was common in those days, even the author sets it up as something horrible. Plus I just don't like that sort of thing if the married couple truly love each other. The way he coldly treats in response to HER hurt was baffling. NOW would be a great time to grovel, you ass. 6. The "real" heroes barely show up once her parents get heated up.
7. H/h are concluded waaaaaay before her parents's issues are resolved.
The only redeeming quality was Christian, who honestly did not make enough appearances. I cheered him on when he calledTerrible. ***SPOILER ALERT***
The only redeeming quality was Christian, who honestly did not make enough appearances. I cheered him on when he called out Rose for her childish, hypocritical behavior, and when he called out Lissa for hers.
Seriously, just drop the entire series, and start one featuring Christian. I would eat it up....more
After reading "Shutter Island", which I liked, (with reservations that have grown in hindsight), and having seen the film "Mystic River", which I als After reading "Shutter Island", which I liked, (with reservations that have grown in hindsight), and having seen the film "Mystic River", which I also liked, I decided to hunt down some of Dennis Lehane's other novels. "A Drink Before The war" is Lehane's first novel and is proof that a writer gets better with experience, (though they do have a ceiling and Lehanes is a low one). Let me explain; While Shutter Island had an interesting plot with clever twists, an interesting lead character, and a well written phrase every few pages it suffered with generic dialogue. The plot was developed solidly enough to overcome the books flaws though. The same can not be said of "A Drink Before The War". Lehane's star characters, two private investigators named Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro made their debuts here and I simply do not understand how either was found interesting enough by the publisher to warrant sequels. I suppose the nature of the publishing industry is every writer has to have recurring characters, even when they are as insipid as these two. Kenzie is completely generic as the wise guy P.I. and the only distinguishing characteristic for Gennaro is that she is an abused spouse. There is the typical sexual tension between the detectives but none of the charm and humor that made that so entertaining in "Moonlighting" with Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepard. While reading Shutter Island I did have a nagging unvoiced complaint. I felt that the dialogue could have been better. It wasn't so bad as to distract from the story though. The dialogue in Lehanes debut novel is so cliched it overwhelms the already weak plot. Honestly, it is full of "groan-out-loud" CONVERSATIONS. Not a line here and there but entire exchanges between characters. One cliche after another. So many, so often it left me wondering if Lehane lacks self-awareness at all. I also wondered if he is surrounded by "yes-people" that never tell him the truth. The cliches are most noticeable whenever Lehane attempts to portray his characters as witty or sharing chemistry. The plot itself concerns incriminating material, powerful politicians, street gangs, and, well, I suppose, on the chance one might still want to read the book I should not say more about the plot. One other thing that bothers me about Lehane is his emphasis on race both here and, to a lesser degree, in Shutter Island. It comes across as, and I know this is speculation, but it is my review, Lehane might think it makes him edgy but to me it is just more generic cliches trying to pass itself off as some kind of enlightenment. Bah. I think I have had enough of Mr.Lehane. Hollywood seems to be able to make his novels worth watching and the ones I've read could benefit from a few rewrites themselves....more
I actually liked the pacing of the book. Too many books and films are so fast-moving, bam bam bam, the end, that I was refreshed with reading a book tI actually liked the pacing of the book. Too many books and films are so fast-moving, bam bam bam, the end, that I was refreshed with reading a book that took some more time on realism with a supernatural twist. It felt like it wasn't being treated as something with a simple, straight-forward plot to get over with. You had random events happen, just like in life. There was tension, drama, comedy, and danger throughout the book. What I am very glad about is the fact that we no longer have to know how many cups of coffee Sookie has each chapter. Now, THAT, is too mundane for me.
Of course, I still wasn't happy with Sookie. She once again proves to be self-centered, impulsive, and hypocritical. Same old, same old. If only she would remove the "stay out of my business while I butt into yours" mentality I would like her a bit more. Also, waaaaay too comfortable with naked guys. tsk tsk, show some respect for your relationship. Amelia rubbed me entirely the wrong way. Too pushy, too willing to jump into changing Sookie's life without a thought. I have always loved her, but in this book she took a turn for the ugly. Eric. For once I didn't like him. He was too secretive about some BIG things and Pam didn't deserve the treatment he gave her. Claude should just leave. Period. I liked Bill a lot in this. He was very sensible and gentlemanly. Alcide, too obsessed. Sam, too intimate with Sookie while in a relationship with a less-than-likable were-girl.
All-in-all, I recommend this book for those who don't mind a slower pace.
One thing I take pride in is my obstinate way in refusing to know too much about a bit of entertainment prior to reading or viewing it. Give me too m One thing I take pride in is my obstinate way in refusing to know too much about a bit of entertainment prior to reading or viewing it. Give me too much of a jacket summary and I won't read a book. For this reason I try to barely glance at the back of a novel. All I want to know is the genre and a very, very basic outline. No plot details please. I am the same way about films. If a film is based on a novel then I go for the book first and avoid the film. For this reason, to this day I have never SEEN Gone With The Wind because the novel sits upon my shelf of books-to-read. (In a side note of "opposites do attract theory", my wife Carolyn, whose account this is, LOVES knowing all the details in advance. It isn't uncommon at all for her to hop up off the sofa during a movie to read ahead on the internet, then rush back to my side giggling about how much I am going to love or hate what happens next. Knowing in advance seems to enhance her enjoyment but completely ruins mine.) Having written all that I approached Shutter Island the novel knowing I had planned to one day see the film. Leonardo is one of my favorite mature actors nowadays so I figured it was just a matter of time before we saw the movie. Now that I have read the book I don't think I want to see the movie. Here's why; The book is really very good. It is a page turner that deals with some very heavy and depressing subject matter. It is difficult to say what this book is about without spoiling it all so I will just say that if you like a novel that makes you want to re-read it just to recognize the obvious giveaways you missed the first time around this is it. Just be warned the subject matter cuts straight to the heart of mental illness and the sometimes terrible consequences that can come with it....more