03/02/2005

Paradise House

I only discovered Erica James about five years ago, but the discovery was enough to spur me on to collect all her books. I was given this one, her most recent, for Christmas and on the whole enjoyed it.

It's an encouraging character-driven story featuring Genevieve Baxter. She's dyslexic, a recovered anorexic, and had her heart broken in her teens. She has two younger sisters who are also important in the plot. Genevieve runs Paradise House, her parents'hotel, after her mother took off to 'find herself' some months previously.

Into the picture steps the old boyfriend who hurt her so much.

There's lots of potential here for a great novel, and I found the second half very well-written. Unfortunately the first part was too full of mini flashbacks and people 'telling not showing' what was going on. It could have benefitted from some editing, in my opinion!

Nevertheless, I became very involved with all the main characters by the time I was about half-way through, and found it extremely moving towards the end. I have a minor quibble that all the ends were a little too neatly tied up in the last chapters, but that's not a major problem. Overall a good book, though nothing like as special as the wonderful 'Precious Time'.

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