R- between 2 and 3
I was trying to give Anita Stansfield another chance. I read some of hers as a teenager.... and realized by about the 4th that I had basically just read the same book 4 times.
I do actually own one... Towers of Brierly, which I really like and have read more than once.
But these.... sigh. These in many ways are everything that's wrong with LDS fiction... or maybe I should call it LDS romance.
For example, I used to read ALL of Rachel Ann Nunes' books. Like ALL of them, right as they came out. But after... I don't know 12 of them? I started to wonder how much tragedy an author should be able to inflict on a single character (or a couple of characters) in the space of 200-300 pages. (Don't get me wrong, Nunes has some books that I LOVE.)
I mean really.
In the course of these two books the 2 main characters--
- each lose one parent to neglect/abuse/divorce.
- lose a friend/brother to death
- lose each other (in a romance sense)
- each lose a spouse to death or infidelity
- lose more friends to death
- each lose a child to the world or death
- have misc. marriage troubles
- lose a parent (or two) to death
- suffer extreme career/financial reversals
- almost commit suicide
- become addicted to painkillers
And that's in only 2 books. Sheesh.
Now, I understand that some people's lives really are that tragic/difficult, but you know what they say about real life and bad fiction.
I am also sick to death of authors on soapboxes. Even when I agree with what they're saying (and I did in these) it's annoying. And in some cases wildly unbelievable.
To compound this irritation-- the characters are actually just compelling enough that I want to know what happens to them. (Which is interesting, since they're not terribly well-written.) Grr.
So I'll read the third book. (This had better only be a trilogy.)
But don't expect me to be happy about it.