Friday, 15 February 2013

Rameau Friday: Yesterday's Sun - Amanda Brooke


This is a difficult review for me to write. While I liked the book, I had several issues with it.

This is a gentle novel. It’s a slow moving story about a young couple who move into their new home and are on the cusp of new phase in their lives: They are about to start a family. Only, real life demands like work and economy conspire to keep them apart. Tom’s new job demands he travel far away and for long periods of time. And there’s trouble closer to home too. Namely Holly’s own insecurities about becoming a mother. That’s a good set up for a character centric story where a character faces her own fears and learns to overcome them. Unfortunately, the story shifts into something completely different. 

Holly finds a forgotten moondial that gives her a chance to see eighteen months into the future. She sees her unborn child, falls in love, and suddenly loses all her doubts about becoming a mother. What bothers her from thereon isn’t her fears about being a bad mother, it’s her perfectly natural self-protective instinct—her will to live. Holly never doubts her love for Tom or for the unborn, un-conceived, child. She doubts her choice to put her own life first.

What’s worse, Holly confides in a total stranger without ever considering asking her husband’s opinion. Admittedly confiding in him about the supernatural time machine—sort of—would make her sound like a crazy person, but she could at least talk with him in hypotheticals. When writing out their five year plan, neither Holly nor Tom stop to ask the other a single what if question. What if Tom quits the job he hates and do something he likes? What if Holly can’t get pregnant? What if there’s a problem with the pregnancy? What if Tom was asked to choose between Holly and the baby? Who would he choose.

Brooke does a huge disservice to Tom’s character keeping him so far away from the story and all of the decision, and doing so Brooke also undermines her main character, Holly. She comes across like a selfish, manipulative shrew instead of the loving wife and would-be mother Brooke would have us believe in. Holly selfishly manoeuvres Tom’s career in the direction she wants it to go, she selfishly decides not to conceive and then changes her mind about it. And all this happens because of visions that could as easily be hallucinations of a sick mind as flashes from the future. She risks everything because she thinks she knows best.

The epilogue and the “about the author” part convinced me that above all else this book was written to be wish fulfilment. Nothing more, nothing less. A wish.

Despite all this, I liked novel. I liked the writing, the charm and the magic of it.

3 stars


<i>I received an Edelweiss ARC of this book from the publisher.</i>

Series: N/A
Pages: 336 (paperback)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Imprint: Harper
Published: February 12th 2013
Source: Edelweiss

22 comments:

  1. Interesting premise - I'm not sure I'd want to know the future.

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    Replies
    1. I'm not sure I'd want to know either.

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  2. hmm I don't know, it sounds interesting but your issues bother me a little... maybe later.

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    1. Maybe is good. I liked it but thought it could have been done so much better. Some of that ire leaked into the review.

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  3. I did a slow moving book last week and it just about drove me crazy, this doesn't sound right for me. Thanks for the honest review!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for reading. Slow moving books have their perks but I need to be in the right mood for them.

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  4. This sounds like it does move between lots of important issues. Sometimes a novel like this is not something I gravitate to, but when I do read one, I enjoy it.

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    Replies
    1. There are important issues in there and the set up offered so much for the author to work with. It didn't quite work for me but I can see some readers loving it.

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  5. It sounds like a good premise, but the way Holly acted after she found out bad news and then being manipulative sounds like a downer. I like the concept though and am curious what Holly saw.
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

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    1. I might have exaggerated the manipulative side a little, but that's how I felt reading her making all these decisions alone. It was her life she was trying to protect, but some of the decisions weren't hers to make. Not alone at least.

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  6. This doesn't sound like something I would enjoy after reading your thoughts.

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    1. I'm sure you know best. I honestly don't know who would love it and who would hate it. I can the rational for both views.

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  7. The epilogue and the “about the author” part convinced me that above all else this book was written to be wish fulfilment. Nothing more, nothing less. A wish.

    I am not sure I am understanding enough in my current mood to indulge in somebody's wishes.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, not a book I'd tell you to read right now. But if you ever do, you must tell me what you think.

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  8. I've noticed this cover out there...not sure if this is something I want to read or not but as always I love reading your take on it!

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  9. Hey girl!

    Awesome review. It is hard to rate books at times. My last two reads left me with the same feeling. I try to give out 4 and 5 star ratings as I see fit, but I feel that 3 stars is a little harsh. UGH.

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    1. Hiya, you found your way here.

      For me, 3 stars is pretty neutral. I liked it but I probably won't think twice about it. 4 is for when I really like something and 5 is the exceptional book I'll end up shoving down everyone's throat until they read it too.

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  10. Replies
    1. I did like that. The idea of seeing the future and how it affects the choices the character makes.

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