Thursday, March 12, 2009

Sigh (With Apologies to the Friend From Whom I Borrowed the Books)

The Sound of Rain and A Distant Thunder by Anita Stansfield
2.5 stars
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.


  1. Hm...haven't picked up any LDS fiction in a long time. In fact, I've never read Stansfield or Nunes (though I might try Towers of Brierly now). But, I know exactly how you feel about needing to follow characters' stories. And how frustrating it is if you disliked the books.

  2. Yeah, I don't read anything specifically called LDS fiction ... everything I've touched is sucky suck suck (including Work and the Glory which I devoured 10 of and regret). They never seem to let the characters be honest, everything feels so fake and forced. So, I'll read fiction by LDS authors, but I'm very shy of LDS fiction.

    ALSO - I went to the used book store to trade in all my husband's craptastic old star wars and star trek books and any duplicates we have ... 88 books in total (yay store credit!) BUT I stopped by HERE as I was about to leave to try and quickly grab a few recommended books ... but I couldn't find anything that easily and quickly told me which books you think freaking rocked and you think everyone should read. Could you maybe throw on an Amazon widget of you very highest recommended books. For little old me. Please ...

    Finally, I have a confession to make. I saw that MY book recommendation is LOSING, and I tried to cheat and vote for it again, but it didn't work, so I'm going to post a link on my blog and tell people to vote for my book.

  3. Okay, see, I actually LOVE The Work and the Glory. I've read them all at least 3 times. (There are only 9 though.) I'm so not kidding. (Way back when Boo was nursing, I read the whole series in like a week.)

    And now I find out it's not a trilogy. THERE WILL BE FOUR!

    Why me?

  4. It felt like 10 ... I read through the one where Joseph Smith is killed. Then I quit. Lund uses the same words all the time ... it started to bug me, like the Babysitter's Club Books.

    And yay for Lost Boys, go cheater head brandy!