Book cover courtesy Amazon.com
On April 9th, I posted about being asked to write a review for a new book, LOSING CHARLOTTE, by Heather Clay.
I was really excited to get this book and couldn't wait until I had time to sit down and read it.
Sadly, this is not the book for me. I broke my 50 page rule for this book and I can't finish it. What is the 50 page rule? I used to suffer through books, finishing them just because I started them. It got so that reading some books became a chore, so I invented my own 50 page rule. If a book doesn't have me completely hooked in 50 pages, I put it down and put it out of my mind. I figure that as fast as I read, I've not lost much time out of my life if I give a book 50 pages to draw me in.
I've been reading this book for well over two weeks now and am only on page 156. I can't do it any more. I'm not a professional reviewer; this is not my job, so I shouldn't feel compelled to force myself to read a book that is completely forgettable.
Now, remember that this is just my opinion. Someone may pick this book up and love it; I did not. Technically, the book is very well written, I just find that the characters are, for lack of a better word, icky. I think that they've got some serious personality disorders and could benefit from some time with a shrink.
There are close to one hundred pages of backstory before the author ever gets to the "real" story. I know that backstory is important, but if an author feels that they need so many pages of it, maybe they need to rethink their approach. The book is supposed to be about how Charlotte's sister and widower come together to raise the twins she left behind when she died shortly after childbirth. Over halfway through the book and we're finally getting to the point where Charlotte's sister is flying out to help with the twins. I'm not sure how the author is going to explore the relationships that are touted on the book cover with less than half the book remaining.
One other thing...I was asked to review a horse book. Horses mentioned in a book do not make it a "horse book". So far, the horses have had nothing to do with the characters (except for the stallion that bit a groom's finger off - more backstory), nor with how the family heals following the death of the favored daughter, Charlotte.
I'm sorry, I just cannot recommend this book to any of my friends, but feel free to pick it up and give it a try yourselves. You may like it - it just doesn't work for me.