Happy Valentine’s Day!

I’m blaming the pandemic for the stupid amount of chocolate I’ve eaten since it hit stores after Christmas. And bought more for the actual day today, even though I know my husband will be hitting the sale candy this week.

Before I launch into the somewhat V-Day appropriate read for this post, I must announce that this is probably the last book review that I will be writing on here. Ever. I bit the bullet last weekend and bought my author website, bethstillmanblaha.com. It is not up yet, so I will also be posting on this next week when I’ll have it up with a nice juicy post to welcome you all to my new author website, which is really just my blog, moved over, for now. It is my hope that most of you lovely followers will check me out over there. Also, the author page will have a Facebook page under Beth Stillman Blaha, Author, and the fb page for this blog will also be phased out. The novel that is in the works to come out this year is a YA fantasy/thriller novel, and yes, I can genre blend because I ‘m not trying to romance agents anymore so I can do what I please! If I’m putting all my own money and time into making this happen, I will be building my own empire.

I can wax poetic on this next week. I promised a book review here and a book review is what you’ll get!

Oscar & Lucinda, Peter Carey

A young clergyman and a woman of independent means, both with an unexpected predisposition toward gambling, converge on an ill fated sea voyage to Australia in the 1800s. They each have unusual and uncommon upbringings for their time, and each don’t really fit into the world in which they were born, so, you know the inevitable. Their lives intersect in a slow burn, completely believable love story, with, as the blurb states, “a stunning conclusion.”

Now, I thought I was all smart about this post because its a book I’ve had forever that needed to be read and it’s about a couple on this, the day of love. And, with my new blog having more focus on books that readers of my impending novel will enjoy, I thought I’d squeeze in one more read outside that purview. Now that the book is done I feel less smart about this.

This book is gorgeously written, poetic, memorable, vivid in my mind’s eye. This is a book for people who love just reading about lives different from their own in a different historical context, as one would expect from Peter Carey. It’s a prizewinner in that not entirely accessible way. It’s literary. AND I do like historical fiction set in the early days of white settlement in Australia. It made me want to pick up The Luminaries again.

But wow, it’s really freakin disappointing. My readers are aware of my aversion to spoilers and I’ll hold true to that, however, I was pretty upset that after 500+ pages I didn’t get any satisfaction from the ending. I felt sad and cheated, and I like to think of myself as one open to many different ways a story can end. I’m left wondering if Carey intended it to go the way it did or he just got to a certain point and had some sort of shower revelation about how he could most disappoint the readers who had invested themselves in these extensive character backgrounds. I hate leaving this blog on a book that was ultimately disappointing for me. Back when I was reading about book blogging I read it’s best to be positive about books, but it’s not in my nature to be blindly positive unless it’s really how I feel.

I have been reading more genre than literary stuff since I shifted to my own read down instead of the reading challenges that I was loving on for a few years. I have been reading a lot of YA to have blog posts ready for you lovelies while I get the book related stuff up and running (get ready for pics of my writing space and the headshots I’ve been avoiding) and maybe it’s the emotionally stressful time of COVID and all the other ways the outside world feels lost these days that makes me crave the resolution that I’ve come to expect out of books for an audience that thrives on some kind of satisfaction from their endings. So maybe it’s me, not the book. A very love thing to say, isn’t it. It’s not you, it’s me.

Please with all the pleases stay tuned for the upcoming blog shift. There will be more of this greatness just in a new space.


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