Monday, May 25, 2015

Review: Haven Lake by Holly Robinson

New from the author of Beach Plum Island... A natural-born storyteller presents a gripping story about grief, anger, and the healing power of love. 

Sydney Bishop hasn’t returned to Haven Lake, her idyllic childhood home, since a pair of shocking, tragic deaths shattered her family when she was only sixteen. Now a child psychologist engaged to marry a successful surgeon, Sydney has worked hard to build a relationship with Dylan, her fiancé’s teenage son, so she feels nothing but empathy when he runs away—until she discovers that his hitchhiking journey has led him to Haven Lake and her mother Hannah’s sheep farm. 

Sydney returns to Haven Lake for the first time in twenty years to coax the boy home. Against her daughter’s wishes, Hannah offers to take Dylan in until he’s ready to reveal his own troubling secrets. Now, for Dylan’s sake as well as their own, Sydney and Hannah must confront the devastating events that tore them apart and answer the questions that still haunt their family—and the suspicious surrounding community—about what really caused two people to die on their farm those many years ago.

Received for review.

I knew just from the description that this would be pretty standard Women's Fiction and it was.  There was nothing particularly outstanding about it and it was an average, mildly entertaining read.

This was filled with stereotypical, rather one dimensional characters - the troubled teen, the hippie off the grid mother, the surgeon fiance, the Latin lover, and the incredibly self centered and rather bitchy main character.  I spent the majority of the book frankly wanting to smack the holier-than-thou attitude out of Sydney.  She was just annoying beyond belief.

On top of the unlikeable characters the story was just so boring and tedious.  It just dragged on and on and on and was not helped by the frankly snooty sentence structure and excessive descriptive passages.

What finally put me over the edge from mild enjoyment to utter teeth-grinding horror was how Sydney described herself as "elephantine".  The word is bad enough, but clearly the author believes that any woman over the height of 5'2" is a fat cow and I frankly found that more than a bit offensive.  This was on top of how the character only wears flats because the author also believes that anyone over 5'2" shouldn't wear heels because it's apparently not ladylike or some such BS.

Overall, this was not a particularly enjoyable read.  It had some interesting bits, but most of those were outweighed by my intense dislike of the uber-bitch main character.  I really cannot recommend this.

★★☆☆☆ = Just Okay




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