Friday, June 27, 2008
Two of-an-evening books, thanks to stormy evenings that kept us inside. The Heroines, by Eileen Favorite, has a fantastic premise: a young mother and her daughter run a bed and breakfast that is visited by heroines from classic literature -- Ophelia, Catherine Earnshaw, Hester Prynne, and more. That aspect of the book was very fun, but the plot itself drifted too much from that premise, with the daughter ending up in a mental ward for a large chunk of the book, a section I did not enjoy at all. That section felt forced, as if the author wanted too much reality infused into a novel that was so well grounded in fantasy. The rest of the book, while it had its moments, wasn't quite enough to make up for that.
Vendela Vida's first novel, And Now You Can Go, also has an intriguing premise. A man holds a young woman at gunpoint in New York's Riverside Park, only to disappear and leave her to deal with the shock. I really enjoy Vida's writing style, with short, quick-changing scenes that somehow flow seamlessly together. The story, however, lost me a bit -- I just wasn't quite sure what it was supposed to mean, or if it simply was what it was. Her second novel, Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name, was a much better story and used her writing style to better effect.