Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Summer Kitchen

by Lisa Wingate

I know I'm not a fan of a book when I have time to read and I choose to do another activity instead. I came close to not finishing this book, and I almost always finish books (I have yet to finish "Anna Karenina", but I'm halfway there!). It took me a lot longer to read this one because I just could not get into it. Now this is not saying it wasn't good; the story had potential. But it took a lot of weeding through to pull out the good stuff.

I did like Cass Sally Blue, the younger of the two protagonists. She was a good character, and constant throughout the entire book. Her antics with Opal and pragmatic thoughts were way more interesting than the older woman, SandraKaye. The author did a great job of sending us into the mind of a thirteen-year-old who's trying so hard to be older than she is. She and Opal were the only part of the book I really enjoyed.

So much over-emotion, sentimentality, and dripping sappiness poured through the pages. Paragraphs upon paragraphs of how the character is feeling and how they're going to feel. It took way too long in some chapters to even find the point. Toward the end of the book, it takes SandraKaye and her husband two pages just to drive a couple of blocks, when it takes Cass and Opal one paragraph to walk to the same place. Two pages! Because I had to read about how worried and caring and loving and blah blah blah Sandra was about the two girls.

It really got to the point where I was just skimming over the paragraphs to get to the actual meat of the story. Some of the descriptions were quite heavy as well, intertwined in with all of the emotions. So many adjectives littered the pages. There were some great images, such as "The first rays of dawn sprinkled glitter over the lingering fog...", but others were just too many words. I don't even want to put an example here because it will take up the entire blog. You'll just have to read it for yourself.

The story was heart-warming and, as I said before, sappy. But notice I did say heart-warming. It was nice to see people doing good things for other people. All I wanted was to focus more on the story and less on the emotions and the physical world. If we know the characters enough through how they act in the book, we'll understand their emotions better without having to be told.

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