Friday, July 1, 2011

Review: A Turn in the Road by Debbie Macomber

2.5 out of 5 stars

A Turn in the Road is a contemporary romance novel where a middle-aged divorcee, her daughter, and her ex-mother-in-law go on a cross-country road trip to get to the mother-in-law's 50th high school reunion. The main character, Bethanne, finds herself conflicted between falling for a man she meets on the road and going back with her cheating ex-husband who has been trying to win her back. Bethanne's mother-in-law, who has been a widow for a while now, spends the trip thinking about rekindling with an old flame, and Bethanne's daughter spends hers trying to figure out what love is now that her boyfriend has gone abroad with his best friend and another girl.

A Turn in the Road is cute. It's sweet. But it's just too...old fashioned. The characters' stories/failed and hopeful romances intertwine better than an episode of Full House, and the woman all seem more than a bit old-fashioned and generally without a backbone.

I found the dialog to be very unnatural. The characters say what they need to in order to progress the story and give the reader an idea of the back story, not what actually makes sense.  Plus, the characters just seemed fake to me. For example, the three woman--worldly woman, business-owning, strong women--go into a nearly empty diner and are scared that the motorcyclists who just came in (who are minding their own business) are going to rape and murder them. Now, I could understand them being a bit unsettled, but when I see men in leather jackets my first thought is usually not "oh my gosh, they're going to kill me." Then, Macomber builds off this to stir Bethanne's interest in the one, seemingly okay biker. It just didn't seem quite right.

Also, the ending was drawn out way too long, even when we all knew what was going to happen.

So, all in all, 2.5 out of  5 stars. It wasn't terrible, it just wasn't terribly good either.

<3 Gina Blechman