Reviews, Woman's Fiction

Review: The Late Bloomers’ Club

The Late Bloomers' ClubThe Late Bloomers’ Club by Louise Miller

My rating: 4.75 of 5 stars

It has been some months since I’ve read a novel that spoke to me as deeply as this one. As in her first novel, The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living, Louise Miller makes the small town Vermont setting come alive with her descriptive style.
The Late Bloomers’ Club isn’t all walks through ancient orchards or morning rushes at the Miss Guthrie Diner. It is a story about family, sacrifice, coming to terms with the past, and allowing yourself to see the beauty around you even when you feel like you’re stuck in a rut from which you’ll never emerge. It also has a sweet romance and some lovable, complex characters. And a few familiar faces from the earlier novel.  If I had one complaint, it would be that the happy and hopeful ending was a bit rushed. I very much enjoyed returning to Guthrie and finding a kindred spirit in Nora.

If you enjoy The Late Bloomers’ Club, definitely read Miller’s other novel, The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living, but I would also recommend one of my favorite reads from last year, The Good Luck Girls of Shipwreck Lane.

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Review: Lost December

Lost December
Lost December by Richard Paul Evans

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is my first Richard Paul Evans novel and, while he is a good storyteller, stylistically he is not a great writer. His narration is almost entirely in the passive tense and he definitely told rather than showed Luke’s story. I mean, Luke lived to excess while traveling through Europe, lived on the streets (and under them) of Las Vegas, and worked in a nursing home. If those experiences don’t provide ample opportunity to use all five senses, I don’t know what does. This kept me at a distance from Luke’s story.
And it is a good story. A familiar one that teaches the reader about human nature and hope and humility. And the list goes on. Personally, I feel that the whole learning experience was avoidable but then where would have Luke’s life been if he hadn’t had to rediscover his father’s love?

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