To Go: 39
61. Skyward — Mary Alice Monroe
Look at that cover! Isn’t that just gorgeous? It’s the whole reason I picked up the novel in the first place; whoever says you can’t judge a book by its cover is one hundred per cent wrong.
After seeing one too many children die, ER nurse Ella Majors takes a temporary live-in position in a South Carolina home, caring for five-year-old Marion Henderson, who was recently diagnosed with diabetes. Ella soon realizes there’s more sorrow in the house than Marion’s illness can account for; Harris Henderson, Marion’s father, is better equipped to deal with the birds he rehabilitates at the birds-of-prey sanctuary than he is his own daughter.
To be quite honest, I don’t know whether to give this book a thumb’s up or down. On one hand, I was pulled in by the story itself, and Monroe is unarguably a talented writer. She has a way with describing nature and wildlife that allows me to picture it. However, the characters were a little cheesy, the final plot twist (and it wasn’t really a twist) was completely overdramatized, and the dialogue was a little bit…well, horrible.
I have this thing with dialogue. I need it to be realistic, or at least passably realistic. I understand that different areas have different ways of speaking, and that some people have elevated language, or little things they say that make them stand out from the rest. I also understand that in a romance book, you’ll be hard pressed to find realistic dialogue. (See the Nora Roberts bitch-fits of 2011.) However, using lines like “Hold me, Harris. I’m afraid” (361) and “If you leave, you curse me with unhappiness” (390) are honestly just too much. I have yet to meet anyone who comfortably talks like that. Not to mention that the characters spent a good portion of the time soliloquizing in full paragraphs, and it was a little hard to believe.
But despite its obvious flaws, there was something about Skyward that kept me reading — other than just because I’d bought it and wanted to get my money’s worth. I don’t know why, but I felt compelled to finish the story and I’m glad I did. It wasn’t a really great read, but it wasn’t awful, either.
Next book: A Secret Kept —Tatiana de Rosnay or something from my English class
Next feature: oh, the usual. Newly published stories. Whatever I feel like putting up.