Kat Latham's Reviews > Barefoot Season

Barefoot Season by Susan Mallery
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Feb 26, 2012

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Read in February, 2012

I've only ever read one other book by Susan Mallery, and I really didn't like it. That was a couple of years ago, so I thought I'd give another book a try. This book wasn't really what I was expecting. It's women's fiction, not romance (there are romantic elements, but they're not the focus of the story), so the story is really about the relationship between two women with a tumultuous history as they try to run a business together.

Army vet Michelle Sanderson returns home to Blackberry Island (off Seattle) injured and yearning for home. But in the ten years she's been away in the military, everything's changed at the inn she inherited from her father. For one thing, her now-dead mother has run up a lot of debts. For another, her childhood best friend Carly - with whom Michelle had a friendship-ending argument before joining up - runs the inn now.

There were aspects I really liked about this novel. The conflicts have depth and the internal problems that Carly and Michelle grapple with are substantial. But too many things annoyed me. I didn't connect with the town, perhaps mostly because I first came to know it through Michelle's jaded point of view. But for the most part, it seemed to be populated with bitchy women who went out of their ways to make other people miserable. At no point was it a place where I wanted to live. Or even go on vacation.

While I appreciated the way Carly and Michelle struggled with each other, I was disappointed that they ended up coming together to fight a woman who was such a bitch that she was unreal. Her entry into the story was far too convenient, and I couldn't figure out why she went to such extremes - risking her own career - to get revenge for something that happened in high school.

Overall, I was left feeling 'meh'.
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