Warning, this will probably read as harsh and snooty:
To be fair, I rarely read things that get the label "romance." VERY rarely. Sometimes if they cross with mystery, I can take it (Iris Johansen in limited doses, the Eve Dallas books, and, yeah, I read the Twilight books). But I'm not a romance person. I'm rarely even a chick lit person. To be fair, I have also been reading REALLY good books lately. But given that I have not yet read EVERY really good book, it is very hard to justify spending time on this one. So much so that I bailed about 10% of the way in. And I also almost never bail on books. I feel it is not fair to judge them unless you know where they are going. I wanted to use this book for one of my Oceania reads in my 6 books, 6 countries, 6 regions challenge, and Oceania books are hard to find at all. But I just couldn't do it. I couldn't.
After reading passages like"Better the peak of art than the slough of sex. Contrary to the popular notion of his wantonness, the artist, Mother believes, must forget about sex. If he can’t, then he’s a mere mortal; but he shouldn’t be a mere mortal. He should be divine! Unfortunately, biographies of artists, which are the most important things about artists, teem all too often with the sexual ruses and abuses of their protagonists. They inveigle the reader into thinking that the cucumber bed of pure harmony grows upon the compost heap of sex.
" which is just a randomly selected passage from The Piano Teacher,
to then read "As Susannah continued reading, the forbidden thoughts returned. This time they were even more intense and exciting. Her pulse raced and her breathing became labored as she imagined strong hands caressing her body
," just doesn't work for me. There have to be better ways to spend my time. Actually, I was already getting skeptical when the authors referred to a Bible "translated from the Hebrew in 1583." Ok, only the first half was ever in Hebrew in the first place. I know I'm being picky, but I was afraid these details would pile up. If you can overlook that the New Testament was in Greek, what else will you gloss over?
And if cultural insight is depicted like this "Looking into the eyes of the old Fijian, Nathan reminded himself he was looking at the end result of thousands of earlier generations. He wondered what claims to fame the old man’s forebears had.
," I'm, again, not feeling really hopeful. I kept feeling like I was reading something written by a good but not truly talented high school student. Again, maybe if you are looking for a steamy island read about a not-so-repressed daughter of a missionary, then maybe this will work for you. I'm looking for something more than that. So I will have to find my next Oceania read somewhere else.