Thursday, October 16, 2008

Julie's Review: Off-Season

Summary: For as long as she can remember, they were Cam and Lilly--happily married, totally in love with each other, parents of a beautiful family, and partners in life. Then, after decades of marriage, it ended as every great love story does...in loss. After Cam's death, Lilly takes a lone road trip to her and Cam's favorite spot on the remote coast of Maine, the place where they fell in love over and over again, where their ghosts still dance. There, she looks hard to her past--to a first love that ended in tragedy; to falling in love with Cam; to a marriage filled with exuberance, sheer life, and safety-- to try to figure out her future.

It is a journey begun with tender memories and culminating in a revelation that will make Lilly re-evaluate everything she thought was true about her husband and her marriage. ~amazon.com

Review: I know I've read a previous book by Ms. Siddons' before, but I don't think I'll be going back. I had such high hopes for Off Season. It sounded excellent, the reviews on amazon were wonderful; what a let down. Now it's not the worst book I read this year that's for sure because there were some pretty great bright spots, like the first 60% of the book, after that she lost me.

What I loved was the parts of the novel with Lily as a 11 year old girl summering in Maine, or the house that is called Edgewater. I could picture the house and the beautiful scenery surrounding it. I could picture Lily as a 11 year old girl, the leader of the pack who was coming into young adulthood and didn't understand her mom. This is the summer she meets Jon Lowell. This is the summer when everything changes. This was the best part of the book and the subsequent chapters when they go back to Washington and their lives are changed forever.

What I didn't like was the way she met Cam. It just felt so contrived and completely unrealstic. I don't mind having the character fall in love and have a whirlwind romance but it just seems like she didn't even know who she was or what she wanted when she was swept away. I didn't like the way they had Lily seem to go mad when she went back to Edgewater. I knew what was going to happen as soon as a character was introduced. It was a bit obvious to me even from the book jacket what the secret was going to turn out to be. That was disappointing. And the revelation was anti-climatic because it came at the end of the book and I'm not even sure if Lily knew it.

The writing at times was beautiful and at times it was scattered. It seems like toward the middle of the book, Ms. Siddons' didn't know where she wanted to go with the story. I thought the magical/mystical part was a little much for a "adult" book. I think only Alice Hoffman really can pull that stuff off for women.

It wasn't a complete waste of time because I did like the majority of the book but I wouldn't recommend it unless you really were running out of things to read.

Final Take: 3/5

1 comments :

Serena October 17, 2008 at 2:04 PM  

Thanks for posting this review. I've seen some of the same positive reviews you have. I may have to put this on hold.

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