Laura's Reviews > Vision in White

Vision in White by Nora Roberts
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Aug 27, 2011

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Read in November, 2010

When Vision in White by Nora Roberts was published, I had just gotten married the year before. My husband and I had a wedding photography business, so the concept of reading a girly book about the wedding industry and a wedding photographer was kind of appealing. I put it on my Read Someday list.

I must admit, I don't normally read a lot of chick lit. Although I often enjoy a good pulpy, quick read, I much prefer something a little more... literary. I even prefer a pop-novel that is directed to both genders, not just women. But every once in a while it is nice to sink into a chick lit novel. Why not, right? Reading is a perfect escape, and what better to escape then into pages with giggly girlfriends, a charmingly chivalrous gentleman, and steamy sex scenes.

Luckily, my library has The Bride Quartet by Nora Roberts as ebook selections, so I placed a hold on the first book, Vision in White.

I've pretty much explained my opinion on the book. It was an easy and entertaining read. It was nice to dive into the life of Mackensie Elliot, her friends, and her sexy love interest.

But, I can't help but be slightly critical about some things. First of all, it irked me that the four friends who run the wedding business kept calling each other sweetie and honey and the like. Maybe other girlfriends do this, but I certainly do not call my friends words like this. Because of this word choice, conversation often seemed forced to me as a reader.

My second, and much more critical complaint is Ms. Roberts character choice names. They are entirely unrealistic. The book was published in 2009 and the main characters all must be somewhere in their mid to late twenties. Instead, they are named as if they are little seven year old girls.

Here is what I mean. The four main female characters are Mackensie, Parker, Emmaline, and Laurel. If Vision in White is set around 2009 (the date of publication) and the women are young, but post-university, they would have been born in the 1980s. According to The Baby Name Wizard's Name Voyager, here are how those names ranked in the 1980s:

Mackensie: The name Mackensie does not rank in the top 1,000 in any time period. However, the name Mackenzie does. In the 1980s it ranked 470th. The name peaked at rank 46... in 2003. Parker: Parker doesn't even show up in the ranks for females until 2003. The name itself was ranked 502 in 2009, at its highest point. Emmaline: Emmaline barely shows up ranked at all. It has a brief showing in the 1880s... a hundred years before this Emmaline would have been born. The character is often called Emma, which is slightly more realistic, however even this name isn't great for the age. In the 1980s, Emma ranked 253rd, as opposed to its recent peak in 2003 at number 2. Laurel: The name Laurel doesn't really follow the same trend as the other three names. The name actually peaked in the 1950s and since has been on a downwards spiral. In the 1980s it was 445th. (For what it's worth, in 2003 it was ranked 662nd).

Do I notice a 2003 trend? It appears as if Ms. Roberts seemed to really like names that were relatively popular in 2003 -- but not the 1980s when the characters would have been born.

This is just pure laziness on the part of the author. I really do expect more from my authors. I expect them to put some effort into naming their characters and not just name them as if they were babies. I can understand one off name, if it is there for a purpose - but all four? And for what seems like no reason at all? Just lazy. And annoying.

Even for chick lit.

Despite that, I still enjoyed reading the book. It was good. That's about it.

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Barbara I really enjoyed all four of these books but I had never thought about what you said about the names. You are so right! I kind of thought the names were too precious but I didn't think about them being of the wrong era. I really had to suspend disbelief in their lives and relationships. I don't know of anyone who is THAT close to their friends for that long (or for any length of time). And Nora Robert's characters are always gorgeous and rich. At least she did make them all work (i.e. workout)for those hot bodies. All in all, total fantasy but fun.

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