Okay, so a few weeks ago I was on the mood for a Tearjerker - sometimes it happens, I just feel like having a good cry about something not related to my real life. So a friend told me about Tapestry by Karen Ranney. Now, I've read the works of Ms Ranney before and I generally enjoy them - some of them I've even love.
So I went forth, located a copy of Tapestry - since it's an older book a friend had it and loaned it to me - and went forth to read.
It was a tearjerker, and it was for the most part okay, but it lost me because it was one of those epic sagas where the hero and heroine have to go through hell and back, then visit the moon, maybe mars and have an tea with the Yeti before they get to be happy.
I loathe such books. It's not that I don't think tragic stories shouldn't be told or that I don't know that real life can be right down cruel. But when I'm looking at a story for comfort, I can't help thinking was ALL that really necessary?
Let me tell you what happens in Tapestry in the barest of terms: Heroine loves hero from afar for years. Hero goes to war, gets blown up and loses - literally - half his face. Hero comes back and is - understandably, I think - a bad tempered bear. Heroine disguises herself as a maid, goes to the Hero's house and slowly but surely gets him to come out of his shell with the power of her love (So far so good and if it would have ended there I would have LOVED this book, but oh no!!).
Hero is thinking of sending Heroine away because she deserves better than him but the heroine disappears on him due to the fact that she has to get back to her rich heiress life. Hero eventually decides to marry for the sake of getting an heir, and marries the Heroine. Hero discovers Heroine is the maid he was in love with. Instead of being happy about this, Hero reverts back into Bear Temperament. Eventually, Hero forgives Heroine and they are happy.... for a while (Again, if this would have been the ending I would have been okay, but we are only midway through the book).
Heroine discovers she's preggo! YAY!! but then Hero is told BY HIS FORMER SUPERIOR IN THE ARMY WHO JUST QUIT THE JOB BUT WANTS THE HERO TO DO AS HE SAYS ANYWAY that he has to go back to war. Hero knows Heroine is pregnant, but goes anyway BECAUSE HE'S A DUMB ASS THAT PUTS DUTY TO HIS NO LONGER BOSS OVER HIS FAMILY. Heroine is sad, but hopes he'll come back for the birth of the baby.
Hero gets blown up again, and thought dead. Heroine hears the news and losses the baby. Heroine becomes Pod-robot with no will to live. Years go by. Hero is still thought as dead. Heroine joins charity causes, fosters tons of children unconsciously trying to make up for the one she lost. Hero is not dead after all and comes back. Heroine doesn't want to see him. Hero pulls a BIG GESTURE TO MAKE UP FOR THE FACT THAT HE WAS GONE FOR YEARS and Heroine forgives him and they live happy with their adoptive children, only occasionally feeling sad about not having their own babies.
See it took me FOUR paragraphs to sum up what happens in this story. And I ask again, was all that really necessary? For me, whenever I read stuff like that, I feel like author didn't make any choices, she just wanted her characters to suffer, and suffer, and then suffer so much because that's supposed to be the makings of a Great Love Story?
I enjoy long, complex stories, I do. When it makes sense. Harry Potter I love. I live for Star Wars - and that's one heck of a long-winded, complex story, more so if you count the Expanded Universe. I loved the LotR movies. There is nothing I love more than a good trilogy or series. I like it. Do I need it crammed into a single book? Nope. Do I need my hero and heroine to have every single possibly bad thing happen to them to believe they love each other? No way!
So... yeah, that's why I stay away from books like this - I think it's also to blame fore my fear of super long books - I've never seen the appeal.
Now, I ask you? Do you like 'saga's? What's the kick? the payoff?
Let me know,