Monday, April 15, 2013

Book Review: The Faded Cottage

By: Diann Shaddox

From the Back Cover:

When a love letter written by a teenage boy becomes lost after a summer filled with passion, it brings about an incredible love story of two people being reunited after thirty years. What if you were able to relive your life, if only for two weeks, and rediscover you teenage love? Would you? Quaid Witherspoon is a man turning fifty, a man with success and money, a world acclaimed artist, but a simple feat of holding a paintbrush turns Quaid’s life upside down when fate steps in. Essential Tremors have taken over his body. The calming waters off the coast of South Carolina call Quaid home to a small, faded cottage, one with a leaning front porch and worn paint so similar to him, flawed. And to the same beach where he began painting as a young boy, the place he met his one true love, and the place he let her go. Sandy, Quaid’s lost love from the past, learns Quaid’s wondering about her, just as she’s wondering about him. Their love is still alive and when they reconnect, it’s easy to let the years they’d been apart fade away. But, sadly, fate has another twist.

My Two Cents:

After years of being apart, through a series of parental persuasion and separation tactics, and other mis-communications and misunderstandings, Quaid and Sandy reunite in the same small coastal town where their love first blossomed.  The premise behind this story is very touching and lovely.  Each has their own issues to deal with; Quaid with his career-ending ET, and Sandy a serious heart problem.  In the end love wins out, even though the couple is once again forced to deal with a significantly shortened forever.

This is a very easy read, if you are looking for a quick romance fix.  I was, however, really distracted by the simplistic writing style, as well as misuse of proper grammar and word-usage.  I also felt the story was overly rushed where it could have been slowed down just a bit.  After years of being apart, and the claim that they had so many questions of why things had happened the way they did, it seemed as if the characters never had a substantive  discussion of their feelings.  It was a question, answer, then a “Well, let’s not dwell, and just move on,” without any further investigation.  I feel the author missed an opportunity to delve into things and slow them down, and perhaps renew love on an adult level - and not just base it on a past love affair.  

Additionally, I found it really hard to believe that the discovery of Sandy’s heart condition did not rate a little higher scrutiny.  It was revealed during the proposal, yet Quaid asked maybe two or three questions, huffed and puffed, and then moved on to, “well, are you going to marry me or not?”  If the love of my life had just revealed potentially life-altering circumstances, I think I would have had a longer conversation about it.  Again, I think the author could have developed the characters more, shown them in a more realistic light, and uncovered a deeper love between them.

It was just a little too simplistic for my tastes.  I figured out exactly what was going to happen very early on in the book.  Since it was a quick read, it did not take long to find out I was correct, which was a disappointing.  I think this story has great potential, and perhaps even a twist ending, if given a little more thought.

It was obvious that the author understood the debilitating effects of ET, and did an outstanding job bringing the disorder into the forefront of discussion.  I was able to sympathize with Quaid’s feelings as his life changed due to the condition, through Ms. Shaddux's in-depth knowledge and discussions throughout the book.

I give it   and a 

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