Saturday, January 26, 2008

2008 Book 6: To Have and to Hold

Book #:6
Book Title:To Have and to Hold
Author:Fern Michaels
Publisher:Ballantine Books
Pub. Date:1994
Started:January 23, 2008
Finished:January 25, 2008
Time to Read:3 Days
Back Cover / Inside Flap:"Bestselling author Fern Michaels has won the hearts of readers worldwide with her sweeping novels of women coping with the challenges of love. To Have and to Hold is Fern Michaels at her most entertaining and compelling best: the story of a woman very much of her generation, a woman who harnesses tragedy and grows courageously into the nineties - strong, independent, and free to love.

It is 1970 and Kate Starr is determined to be the perfect wife, the perfect mother, and the perfect housekeeper. Her husband, Patrick, is her whole world - even when he departs for a tour of duty in Vietnam. But when Patrick is listed as MIA, Kate must rely on herself for the first time in her life.

It's an uphill struggle from the start - emotionally, physically, financially. Kate feels she has no talent, no job qualifications - all she knows is how to be a wife and mother. But the bureaucracy, red tape, and utter callousness of the U.S. government's policy regarding MIAs fuels Kate's rage. She organizes a support group and fights the system, determined to make noise any way she can. It is the beginning of a new Kate Starr.

Five years, ten years, fifteen years pass...and Kate continues to transform herself: she raises her two daughters, puts herself through school, and starts a successful business. She also continues to love her husband - until finally, she realizes she must move on. Twenty years after her husband disappears in action, Kate finds love again. It is the passionate, fulfilling love of an adult woman, a love unlike any she has experienced before...and a love that will bring with it the most momentous decision of Kate's life...

In this poignant, triumphant, and very real story, Fern Michaels proves her immense talent once again."

Review:First of all, I have to tell you that I bought this book for $1 in a used bookstore in Coeur d'Alene, ID last spring. So I don't feel all that gypped.

Next, I have to tell you that I really can't understand why I own like 15 Fern Michaels novels...

Fern Michaels is to modern fiction like Cliff Notes are to the Classics. Watered down. Stereotypical. Cut and dried with no glance spared for practicality. Impractical. And typically, poorly edited.

I really am sorry to say that...but I think Fern Michaels popularity is more due to her quick reads and mindless story lines than her ability to write captivating text. For me, I pick up a Fern Michaels novel whenever my brain is so overloaded that I can't comprehend much else. They're books I can read quickly (this one only took three days because I was sick...) and I don't have to give them much thought.

Specifically to this book, since you're here to read a book review and not an author-attack, I'd have to say that the characters are flat, the storyline is predictable, and it's nearly impossible to really feel the emotions. 346 pages is not enough to cover 15 years and glaring gaps and inconsistencies dot the pages as proof.

Folks, if you're looking for an easy read, this, or almost any other Fern Michaels book, is a good choice. But if you're looking for a great story to draw you in and make you think, move along.

If you have read or are planning to read this book, please make sure to stop back by and leave me a comment to let me know your own thoughts!

From my library to yours,


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