Interesting Story Marred By Divisive Politics And Too Long “Epilogue”. Given the setup for this story – and this may be on the publisher, as I’m talking about the description here – it seemed that the “event” (which is spoilery to disclose the nature of) would consume much more of the book. Instead, it is over little beyond the 50% mark, and a solid 33 – 40% or so of the tale is the *aftermath* of the event in question. And while there is a lot of interesting storytelling here with strong points about how complicated humans are, it wasn’t what the description led this reader to believe he would be getting into. Still, this was not enough of a concern to deduct a star, but it needed to be discussed in this forum.
What led to the star deduction was actually the author’s divisive political commentary, where one character in particular explicitly proclaims to another “You’re a _______?!?!?!?” (again, not naming which direction as it is a touch spoilery). The rest of the tale from this point is the other person apologizing and only being “redeemed” for changing their entire belief system to match the first person’s. Not only is this not realistic – and despite this tale being fiction, most everything else here is solidly grounded in realism – but it is also shall we say “less than helpful” in this already divided time. This reader had hopes that such a proclamation could lead to each side working together and understanding each other more, which would have been phenomenal and even transcendental in these times of hyper-division. Instead the author took the easy route and steered hard into what is likely her own viewpoint, essentially proclaiming everyone else to be savage brutes unworthy and incapable of having differing opinions or even being worthy of redemption without being forced to conform.
Overall this is still a compelling tale and a worthy read. Recommended.
This review of Buck’s Pantry by Khristin Wierman was originally written on September 6, 2022.
Seemingly Destined For The Small Screen Via Hallmark or Up. Up front: For those that have issues with anything at all that mentions Christians/ Christian values/ actions (blessings before meals, childhood prayers before bed, attending church, etc)… you may as well skip this one and spare the author a negative review due to your own hangups. Similarly, those ultra-conservatives who think even a peck on the cheek kiss is scandalous… there’s going to be things in this one you don’t like too, though I think you’ll find this book more palatable than those staunchly opposed to all things Christian.
For everyone who finds themselves somewhere in between those two extremes… this is a standard Hallmark type tale in book form. And thus, your enjoyment here will largely depend on how much you like those types of tales. The particulars of this one are ranching and rodeo, unexpected/ unknown parenthood / single parent, and escape from corporate life – but let’s face it, for those that enjoy these types of tales, those particulars are largely irrelevant. 😀
One of the more interesting things here, and a wrinkle that is genuinely rare in these types of tales, is the presence and even emphasis on barn quilts – which is just the thing needed to separate it from the pack just enough to say “go read it for the barn quilts” or “go read the barn quilt story”. Very much recommended.
This review of What Remains True by Nancy Naigle was originally written on May 1, 2022.
Excellent Corporate Thriller. If you like corporate board room power plays and machinations, this book is right up your alley. If you like Godfather-esque stories of honor and destroying enemies who disrespect you, you’re going to love this book. If you absolutely want nothing to do with corporate America at all in any way whatsoever… you can probably already tell that you should probably skip this book, but I’m going to tell you that your reluctance there is going to cost you an awesome read. Per the bio at the back of the text, Page is a new pseudonym for an author that has previously been well received, if not necessarily well known, and that level of execution bleeds through the entire text here. Very much recommended.
This review of Call To Power by Jack Page was originally written on July 1, 2020.