Tuesday, July 18, 2006

A Country Affair

A Country Affair by Rebecca Shaw is one of those books that makes me wonder how people who can't write get published. Honestly, this was one of the most cliche-ridden, cardboard-characterized, thinly-plotted novels I've ever read, and it appears to be part of a series (insert gasp of horror here).
There's the fair young maiden, perky and British, the loutish boyfriend who turns out to be a rapist, stalker and psychopath with a nutso mother ala Norman Bates. But of course, because this is such a flimsy piece of work, the lout only needs a good job and a stern talking to, and a help from another sociopathic nutball over lunch, and suddenly, he's okay! What a miracle! No need for drugs or therapy, just pull yourself up by your bootstraps and move away from mum, eh?! Of course, there's a somewhat loutish Australian who becomes boyfriend number two, only to abandon our heroine because he's a callous lout, as evinced by his inability to deal with his one-night-stands pregnancy and convenient miscarriage. Reading this book was like watching a soap opera from the 60s or 70s...lots of stereotypical characters doing what they always do, and coming out of the drama as they are supposed to, either clean and free of trouble or completely out of the picture in another state, or prison, or in a graveyard. Ridiculous dialogue abounds, and our heroine finally decides to do what is "best" and go back to school to be a veterinarian. Considering that her coworkers are all about as dim as a two-watt bulb, its no surprise that she needs a tutor to get through the tough subjects.
I can only hope that this author gets discouraged by writing this simplistic tripe and gets a writing tutor for herself.

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