October 17, 2012

Book Review: Rainshadow Road by Lisa Kleypas

At First Sight: From a very young age, Lucy Marinn has known that she has an special connection to glass. It all started in the wake of her sister Alice's bout with meningitis, when the family dynamics switched into a pattern of Alice always getting what she wants and Lucy always having to give up her things in favor to her younger sister.

After one bad episode with Alice, Lucy discovered that when strong emotions overwhelmed her, the glass around her changed to offer her comfort. Young as Lucy was, she always knew this was something she had to keep to herself. 

All grown up and living in the Friday Harbor with her current boyfriend Kevin, Lucy thinks her life is getting pretty close to perfect as she loves where she lives, she loves her boyfriend and she loves her job creating stain-glass windows and ornaments. That is, until Kevin drops the bombshell that he's leaving her... and taking up with Alice. 

Enter Sam Nolan. Sam owns a small vineyard in Friday Harbor and is helping his brother Mark raise their niece Holly after the dead of their sister Victoria. (Christmas Eve in Friday Harbor). He was out walking the family dog when he mets Lucy. And, from then on, they keep running into each other all over town, partially because of mutual friends. 

Neither of them is out to be on a relationship: Lucy because she has been hurt and Sam because he doesn't want to repeat the patterns of his parents' marriage. They are very reluctant, but eventually start a tentative friendship, and start sharing secrets with each other that they had never told anyone before. 

Second Glance: I'm so behind but I finally read Rainshadow Road, and I'm so happy I did because I seriously enjoyed this book, I was very hard for me to put it down. I liked Lucy and Sam, they were nice, every day people; each with their own flaws and gifts. They are both wary of relationships but they aren't complete jackasses as a result. 

Lucy takes so much pride in her work with glass, and so does Sam with his work with grapes, and you can see how they are both very passionate people, and they make so much sense in the context of their families. Sam is also a bit of a nerd and that's actually quite amusing, and sweet. 

The romance worked, and I loved that Lucy and Sam weren't islands: they had families they spent time with, friends, jobs and a place in their community. I loved the backdrop of the San Juan Islands in the story, sometimes I really felt like I was there. 

There is an element of magical realism to the story, which I didn't mind because, well, I'm Mexican and we grow up with magical realism as a cultural element, so I was okay with it but, at the same time, I think you could take it out of the story and it would remain essentially the same. 

Bottom Line: Rainshadow Road was a lovely contemporary read, if you're a Lisa Kleypas fan you'll probably enjoy it a lot too, but even if you aren't, it's a very relaxing, sweet story. And I'm really looking forward to Dream Lake, the next book in the series

Favorite Quote“I’m still in shock. The next stage is crying and sending angry text messages to everyone I know. After that is the stage when I’ll want to rehash the relationship until all my friends start avoiding me.” Lucy knew she was chattering, but she couldn’t seem to stop herself. “In the final stage, I’ll get a short haircut that doesn’t flatter me, and buy a lot of expensive shoes I’ll never wear.” - Lucy

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