Friday, July 4, 2008

book time

Let's start off the holiday weekend with a book giveaway, shall we?
I actually finished this book on Wednesday, but once again it was one that I debated giving away. This is always a tough call for me... if I love a book, you almost have to pry it out of my hands, I just want to keep in for my collection and be able to pick it up to read again whenever I want in the future. However if I really don't love a book, I have a hard time passing that on too; it's much more fun to pass on a book I'm excited about other people reading rather than a book I just want to get rid of. This one lands in the latter category for me. I really didn't like it much and I really have nothing great to say about it and I'd rather just hand it off to Goodwill or something instead of passing it on to someone I may know for a "good read". There are just so many excellent books out there, I don't like to waste someone's time on a simply "meh" one. But once again I figure, why not? Just because I didn't love it doesn't mean no one else will. So here you go.

A Wedding in December
I picked up this book because I'm a fan of Anita Shreve and because I found this hardback copy laying in a clearance bin at Walmart for $4. I was excited as I'd been looking forward to reading this one. And I love weddings. :)
It's set in the mountains of Massachusetts, where some previously close friends reunite some 27 years after their high school graduation for a wedding in a beautiful inn restored and run by one of the classmates. It's a bittersweet reunion to say the least, as it's a couple who missed out on almost all of the lapsed time of their life together... reconnected under stressful circumstances, but wanting to grab hold of their "second chance for love" now, before it's too late -which it may already be as the bride is battling cancer.
Surrounding them are their closest friends from back in the day, only of course everyone has lived a whole life between now and then. As expected, it's a lot of reminiscing and reexamining of lives and choices and true happiness, with a revisiting of the tragedy they all parted ways with at the time of their high school graduation, but that no one wants to talk about.
Sounds like the possiblity of a good book, right?

I'll try not to say so much as to ruin it for anyone else, but I personally found Shreve's focus in these interweaving stories to be... off. The stories and the characters were heavy, but there wasn't enough there to completely get into any of them. The weight of the book seemed to actually be adultery... pretty much everyone in the book had been or was involved in infidelity. It was seemed to be expected and justified. Glorified, really. It was depressing that most every character involved was so selfish and immature as to do whatever makes them happy, regardless of hurting those around them. It just got really old and distracted from the real plot lines.
Combine that aspect with an abrupt inconclusive ending and I was sorely disappointed.

But. That's not all to say that you won't like it!! I'd be really interested to hear other's takes on it. If you've read it, let me know what you thought. If you haven't read it and you want to take it for a spin, it's your lucky day! In the same manner of all my past book giveaways, if you're interested in a barely used hardback copy of A Wedding In December, sent (for free!) right to your door, leave a comment on this post telling me you want it. I will draw a name from these comments next Friday, July 11th and send the winner my book. Be sure you send me your email address if I don't have it or have access to it on your blog or profile so that I can get your mailing address if you win.

Also, if I've totally turned you off from this book, don't despair. I really do like the other books of Anita Shreve's that I've read; The Pilot's Wife and The Weight of Water being two of my most favorite books. I fully endorse giving those a try if you're looking for something to read this summer. But sorry, you gotta find your own! I'm not giving those away... they're keepers around here!

***ETA- time's up!! Congrats to the random winner, WindyCindy!! I'll be in touch to mail you your new book!***


windycindy said...

Hi, It kind of reminds of the movie
"The Big Chill!" Where all the old friends get together and remember old times and lots of good and bad comes out. Please enter me in your book drawing. I would love to give it a try. Thanks, Cindi

Alessandra said...

Please enter me in your giveaway!


Josette said...

Hi there, I found your blog via Google search. I'm from Malaysia...can I enter my name in your giveaway?



Bunny B said...

Sounds like an interesting story! I'd love to win this. Thanks for the chance!

bunnybox9 at gmail . com

Anonymous said...

i'm in! thanks heather!

jessica said...

i've been a blog slacker but i'm here now! i'd love to participate in your giveway! and i need to pick up a good book.

Anonymous said...

Please enter me! I love most of her books, and have this one on my summer reading list.

Anonymous said...

I would love to win a book! Sign me up

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