This book had so much potential, but a few easily-corrected flaws knocked it back. The author is a talented writer (I hope they corrected all those errors in the foreword from my preview copy) and the setting is beautiful (the book directly mentions Sleepless in Seattle’s inspiration). Mix in mystery and romance and it should be a sure winner. But it’s not.
The story transpires across two different time periods, decades apart. One woman moves in to a Seattle houseboat to escape her tragic past and another woman is stuck on the boat trying to escape her sad present. And here’s where the first mistake occurs—both women are too much alike. When flopping between two time periods, there needs to be a noticeable difference in characters; many times I thought I was reading the story of the opposite character because of their extreme similarities.
Two more things furthered the confusion. First, there are two separate characters named Jim (James a former husband, and Jim the neighbor). This doesn’t make things easy when one of those “Jims” is there during both time periods. Second, there is incongruence in the time periods. There are a few chapters that have flashbacks within themselves. Ten years prior she’s just meeting her love interest, but twelve years ago she’s talking about her love interest and meeting his mother. Sound confusing? Well, a good book shouldn’t be, but this is.
Finally, the author throws in a grocery list and two complete recipes, right in the middle of the chapters. Seriously. A paragraph outlining the whole grocery list of the character. This totally breaks the momentum of the story.
So there you have it: Huge potential, but careless setbacks that prevent it from being as enjoyable as it could have been. I would have liked to read about mystery aboard the houseboat community set in Seattle, but too many things robbed the flow.
I would like to thank Penguin Group for providing me with a review copy of this book; this review is my own and has not been influenced by receiving a review copy.