Monday, December 31, 2012

Book 73

She Came From Away, by D. Edward Bradley. Nook. 
Toronto college student Riley Barnett is surprised to learn that she is heir to an estate in picturesque Conception Bay, Newfoundland. She didn't even know she had an uncle before the information came from a local lawyer.

She finds the house inviting, the town quaint, and life on the Atlantic coast enjoyable, so she leaves her college and takes up life in her new house. She quickly discovers that her uncle's death is shrouded in mystery and secrets, and also realizes that not everyone in Conception Bay is happy to have her there.

With local weatherman Paul Sutherland in her life (and eventually in her house), and a few loyal friends for support, Riley faces gunshots, break-ins, and worse in her new town. But despite all of this action, very little actually "happens" in the novel. The romance aspect is strong, but my preference is more for stronger plot elements in my fiction. These dramatic scenes don't go as far as I would hope -- the villain is never apprehended, much less identified with certainty. Even the disposition of the house is an anti-climax, although the future of Rily and Paul ends on a nice hopeful note.

The strength of the novel is the enjoyable character development, especially in Riley. And the romance angle was well-told, as was Bradley's ability to describe the setting. But I was a little frustrated that this character development, and Bradley's skillful writing altogether, is in service of a story in which very little happens.

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