Saturday, May 21, 2011

Fixing Delilah

First of all, sorry for the absence. The whole finals and end of semester things took over my life, but now it's summer, which means time to read and blog!

Things in Delilah Hannaford's life have a tendency to fall apart.

She used to be a good student, but she can't seem to keep it together anymore. Her "boyfriend" isn't much of a boyfriend. And her mother refuses to discuss the fight that divided their family eight years ago. Falling apart, it seems, is a Hannaford tradition.

Over a summer of new friendships, unexpected romance, and moments that test the complex bonds between mothers and daughters, Delilah must face her family's painful past. Can even her most shattered relationships be pieced together again?

Beth says 4 Stars...

I enjoyed Ockler's other novel, but even though I'm enjoying realistic fiction more I still go in hesitant. Once again I found the world she created an interesting place to reside for a brief time. The setting felt relatively real, but I found a few flaws as well. I think that Delilah not being as familiar with the town could have been used to enhance the experience for readers. However, we only got a few half recollected memories without the descriptions needed to bring it fully to life. I honestly just expected a bit more and finished the book disappointed in that sense. I predicted a good bit of the ending... it wasn't terribly original. That's not to say it lacked an emotional punch (I totally cried), but it lacked any real inventiveness.

I still have no tolerance for characters that constantly whine and complain, especially when the story centers on them. Delilah got more than a little angsty at points, which gave me the urge to reach into the pages and shake her. I understand that she had some issues to deal with, but honestly would a little more gumption have killed her? I think not, but the bouts of griping weren't overwhelming. I found Patrick and the romantic component of the story sweet. It didn't become overdone, which I feel is a problem in a fair number of novels. The best part of the novel hands down was how Ockler portrayed the relationships between the Hannaford women. Even though there was the huge, central event/family secret from years before the story felt fractured. Instead of fixating completely on what happened, it focused more on the fallout of an explosive secret. I also appreciated how things never magically repaired themselves and any healing that happened had to be earned.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this book. It would be perfect for a rainy day curled on a couch alone. I wouldn't recommend it for the beach, particularly if you're near the end and have a predisposition towards waterworks like me. If you're in the mood for an interesting family drama with some darkness that never goes too far pick this one up!
Book from Library


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