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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Review : A Better View of Paradise by Randy Sue Coburn

Publisher : Ballantine Books
Genre : Women's Fiction
ISBN : 978-0345490360
Series : No
Rating : 4

From Fantastic Fiction :

A deeply satisfying novel that explores the tender bond between fathers and daughters, and celebrates the redemptive power of forgiveness and love - sometimes found in the most unexpected places.

Thirty-six-year-old Stevie Pollack has earned fame and praise for her landscape architecture projects, though critics complain she's too formal, too rigid. But when her boyfriend abruptly drops her, and her Chicago lakefront development project is panned, Stevie flees to Hawaii, where she spent her childhood with her emotionally distant father.

Hank Pollack has returned to the islands for a very different reason; he's dying. As father and daughter mend fences, Stevie discovers new emotional depths within her father as well as a startling, hidden past.

Shocking revelations force Stevie to undergo a personal transformation both uncertain and exciting. With Hank's help - and the very agreeable attentions of a handsome local veterinarian - Stevie learns to surrender her inhibitions and seize every beautiful day in a reconfigured paradise.

Review :

Stevie Pollack is infamous in her career as a landscaping architect. She has spent a lot her time to get to the top, and is well known for her work. It takes a major toll on her when her newest project in Chicago gets a bad review, it doesn't make things any easier when she's also dumped by her long time boyfriend. When she finds out that her father is also dying, things really hit the fan. She hops on a plane to Hawaii to be by her father's side. She's not ready for her life to go down hill like this, and she's determined to do something that will keep her father around longer.

Hank Pollack wasn't always the best father in the world, although he wasn't the worst either. He took Stevie to ball games to see their favorite baseball team, the Chicago Cubs, and was always very supportive of her decisions. He was on the other hand, not very affectionate as a father, hugs and kisses were not apart of his way of showing how he loved someone. Now, with him dying, he has to show his daughter, Stevie, just how much he truly cares. It isn't easy for him to ask for help from others, or apologize for his wrong doings.

When I first picked up this novel, I was very interested in the prospect of it. When I hit the 50th page, I started to get bored. I told myself that I would finish it, regardless, because if I just put it down I might be missing something that was really worth reading. I was completely correct. This book was completely full of emotion, and I could feel the pain of each and every character involved. I wanted happiness for Stevie, and worried about the condition of her father worsening over time.

This was my first time reading a novel by Randy Sue Coburn, and now I'd have to say that I would love to read more of her books. This book really hit an emotional button with me, and I found myself crying harder than I expected I would while reading a book. It was also full of a lot of Hawaiian culture, and I loved that, it makes me want to go to the islands of Hawaii and relish in their beauty. It was also wonderful to learn some Hawaiian words, as they were scattered throughout the book, and I think this gave the book some wonderful Hawaiian flavor. Thank you, Dorothy at Pump Up Your Books for informing me about this blog tour, and Randy Sue Coburn for writing such a wonderful book.

This book was also read for the August Book Challenge.


Randy Sue said...

Thank you for taking the time to read and review my book. I'm so pleased that the emotional components of the story were so meaningful for you. I think of them as being almost like water to wade into, so your comment that it took a few chapters to fully immerse made total sense! All best wishes,
Randy Sue

M. L. Kine said...

"The Hong Kong Connection" is a legal thriller about a gutsy female attorney who takes on high ranking International officials. It's a taut, rollercoaster of a ride from New York to Palm Beach to Washington D.C. to Hong Kong. The plot is expertly woven, the characters persuasive, and the dialogue snappy and spot on.