Review: Coming Home

Ugh.

So the cover is beautiful.

But this was not a novel. Or even a novella.

This was a very rough draft of an interesting story, that started near the very end of it. I wasn’t invested in any of the characters, because all the backstory was filled in by a bunch of info dumps scattered throughout. The characterization, particularly for the heroine, was scattered and hard to follow, and honestly, not very well thought out. I mean, is she tough or not? Can she take care of herself or not? Is she sassy or sweet? And her BROTHERS. OH. MY. GOODNESS. They may have well have bartered for her worth with the hero, because that whole scene was cringeworthy at best.

The emotions didn’t resonate because they weren’t earned. The smut took turns being sorta hot and then being completely weird. (Second book in a row where the lines “and she loved it!” feature during a sex scene. Just… why? If she’s encouraging it to continue, the reader can figure it out.)

A lot of this book made me cringe. “If Kansas were his woman she wouldn’t be walking the streets by herself late at night.” HIS WOMAN?

and

“Kansas was naturally beautiful and didn’t need the layers of makeup some women felt the need to trowel on.” But some women DO need it?

and “He went to her bookshelves and perused what was there. You could tell a lot about a person from their personal belongings.” Or he could ask her?

And then Tobias goes back and forth several times on how his past experiences in the DEA affected him. He says that he hated the man it made him, that it didn’t even help anyone, but in the end he’s proud of the work he did?

Ugh. I just can’t go on.

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Review: Lady Chatterley’s Lover

9781411432505_p0_v1_s260x420It took me three months to finish this book, and not because it was particularly dense or long. Imagine a somewhat tame erotica novel, and then add pages and pages of ranting about Bolshevism, industrialism, and classism. That is Lady Chatterley’s Lover.

After reading an essay about the book and having it contextualized in the time in which D.H. Lawrence wrote the book, it makes sense why this may have an important stepping stone for modern romance novels. Despite any importance in the literary canon, however, this book is terrible. The characters are shells of characters, the plot meanders and jumps ahead in the future without warning, and there is too much unrelated ranting. There is a somewhat interesting story buried in between all the rest, but it really needed to be massaged out of it.

The book is very nearly autobiographical, as it takes many elements – including its setting – from Lawrence’s own life. Lawrence’s father was a collier, and the book is based adjacent to a mining town. The adultery in the book is also mined from his life, as his wife was married when they became entangled. The gamekeeper is supposed to be the author’s¬†mouthpiece in the book, and most of his opinions are those of Lawrence’s.

I thought the book could have been better if it had included more exploration of the relationship between Connie and her husband, Clifford. Why did she decide to marry him at all? What drew her to him? Was their relationship lukewarm before his paralysis, or did that ruin it? There is a sense of the pompous, self-righteous attitude that Clifford has and that worsens as he feels more powerless and impotent, which is very interesting, but instead we get pages about how he feels about spirituality or transcendence. And Connie, for that matter, doesn’t seem to feel much of anything until she just decides that she is going to ditch Clifford for Oliver Mellors, the gamekeeper.

This book does not age well. I’m sure it was scandalous for the time as it has some fairly graphic depictions of the relationship between Connie and Oliver, but between the rantings and outdated references, it is pretty vanilla and boring.

2 stars.

This book fulfills the classic romance and the banned book requirements for the challenge.