Bad-Book Review of the Month

I checked out this book:
The book was one I just pulled off the shelf of my new and beautifully renovated library last week.

It's a short read, only 135pages, so I anticipated being able to finish it just before bed. Got the cat, got the blanket, got the heating pad (to warm the blankets), got a bottle of water...ready!

I haven't been reading much lately - which is a primarily due to not having to ride the bus 40 minutes a day to get to my job. SO-I'm excited to crawl into bed a little early and read a quick novel.

I start reading this cute little story about a mom who just wants to reconnect with her adult daughters, a classic tale of all mothers. It's true and it's sad, but you spend a full and busy 18 years devoting your life to these children who knew NOTHING before you taught them it all--walking, reading, adding, spelling, tying shoes, etc. And then they just leave you behind and go off into the world on their own and just come back every now and again for a weekend here or there and major holidays, sometimes less depending upon the distance between them. It happens to all mothers. Tale as old as time, right?

But then just as I started to get interested into the book, it suddenly turns into a book where every page is "devoted" to christianity. It wasn't too devotional at first, it started slowly, but just past the halfway mark of the book, it moved from a story about a Christian mom (which is completely tolerable to read) to a book where not one page can be turned without a reminder that they are a religious family. It became all about "god's will" and "it's what god has planned for me" and "please god help me." And then I realize---this IS a religious book!

I'm not against reading a book where a character prays or where they talk about religion. I've read a fair amount of books about muslims and christians both in which people prayed or talked about religion, but by the end of reading Seaside, the entire plot seemed pointless.

Here's a breakdown (spoiler alert!):

Mother is isolated from very busy daughters
Daughter #1 is fighting with husband lately (typical housewife drama)
Daughter #2 is late 30's, still-single, barely making it and feeling like her family looks down on her for not "finding a man."

Mother plans a getaway for them all after not seeing them for an entire year.
Daughters are both too busy to step away from their lives for a full week, but eventually feel enough daughter-guilt and make it work.
Mother feels bad that she never taught them how to relax and just enjoy life for what it is.

good so far....
And then---the mother admits that her weight loss and short hair style is due to having been diagnosed with cancer and going through treatment the last year. Sad. Still a good book.

But the mother announces she is done fighting, there is no chance for a cure, she is going to die.
Very sad, but real-life and still a good book.

About four pages after this announcement are then filled talking about god's will and not being afraid to embrace his plan, etc. Eh, four pages is two pages too many, but still an okay book.

And then the daughters decide they are going to do their own research and make her fight. As any daughters would! Still an okay book.

And then four more pages of mom talking about god's will and they have to accept what he has planned for them. This is now three pages too many and the book is totally losing me.

And then the daughters realize that this is part of (say it with me): god's will. And this is where the major-letdown peaked.

They all accept it (over the course of two pages) and decide to just use their faith that god has a plan and it's time to say goodbye to mom.

The end.

sigh. This was a letdown in what started out to be a nice little "come-together" story of family love and the need to stay in touch with your family and ended with a constant mantra of religious chanting. I'm glad that religion helps some people accept religion into their lives and gain strength from whatever they are taught, but how does this story make sense?

Here's where I find the flaws:

1) When mom was sad and feeling lonely, shouldn't she have accepted it as god's will? And really, when she was diagnosed with a terminal disease--shouldn't she have accepted that as god's will and not tried to fight off god's will for a full year?
2) When Daughter #1 was feeling unappreciated at home, shouldn't she just have embraced the love of her god and had that be enough?

3) When Daughter #3 was worried about bills being paid, she should have just put her faith in god's will that things would work out as he planned and that if she was meant to be successful, she would, but if she was meant to be homeless, she would?

I could break it down more, but those are the basics.

Anyway - this is not a posting about religion, (which I try to avoid talking about here) the point is that this is not a book I would recommend and I'm irritated that it did not have some kind of warning that it was a religious book, and I don't understand why this book even got published.
Probably because it was god's will.
The end.


  1. Debbie said...:

    Hi Kaylen....thanks for visiting my blog tonight. I picked up the same book you just reviewed a few weeks ago and ended up putting it back down thinking I wouldn't have time to read anyway.....glad I didn't waste my time. Didn't realize it was going to have a sad twist to it.

    Take care,

  1. Thanks for the review....I read alot (and it is getting back into reading season for me).

  1. Anonymous said...:

    maybe you should find God, then you will know the true meaning of the book.
    It might have been his attempt to reach you.

  1. Kaylen said...:

    If this was god's way of reaching out to me - he better try again....this def wasn't a good method (but he's all-knowing, so he should have known this).

  1. Anonymous said...:

    LOL....Kaylen. You m ake my day. Love, Annonymous.

  1. Ugh. I hate stuff that just turns into a vehicle. Remember the original 'Ellen' sitcom before it became her soapbox? Same thing. I had a pastor friend who would jokingly say, "Church would be great if it weren't for all the people"

  1. AmberRay said...:

    A book about cancer that I just read and enjoyed was Cancer Schmancer by Fran Drescher. It is about her battle with uterine cancer. Thanks for the comment. I am a Christian and enjoy religious books as well, this one not a terribly religious book though but it was very good. I also don't care for repetitiveness and so I didn't bother reading "Eat Pray Love" for my book club LOL


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