Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Fishing with RayAnne by Ava Finch

Family.  As Leo Tolstoy once said, “"All happy families resemble one another, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”  RayAnne Dahl is a thirty-something year old living in Minnesota with a flamboyant family that has helped define who she is and also held her back emotionally.  RayAnne worked the professional fishing circuit until she unexpectedly landed a gig as the host of a PBS show “Fishing with RayAnne.”  Her show is Oprah on water with RayAnne interviewing interesting women speakers on her boat Penelope while fishing.  RayAnne wants nothing more than to go from being the “temporary” host of the show to becoming permanent with a contract.

RayAnne is on track for success until her alcoholic father and mystic life coach mother put a wrench into things.  She also meets the perfect man, Hal, only to discover he is one of her sponsors.  Taking advice from her beloved Grandma Dot, RayAnne adopts a new dog and tries to relax with a new trip planned to visit her Grandma in Florida.  When tragedy strikes, RayAnne must keep her family intact while also learning that there are more to each of her family members then their caricatures.

I enjoyed this book and reading about RayAnne and her eccentric family.  Like a Jane Austen novel, certain portraits of family members rang true – particularly her Grandma Dot reminded me of my own beloved Grandma Kile.  All of the characters were flawed and believable.

I didn’t like how the book is marketed as “laugh out loud” and “evokes giggles,” etc. on the cover.  I thought this book was going to be a light hearted chick-lit novel that would make me laugh, but it was anything but.  It was more a look at family dynamics and how tragedy can play into them.  It was still good, but by setting up a certain expectation for this book and not filling it, there will be disappointed readers.  I also thought the ending was a bit of a downer and rushed.

The FLICKS Book and Movie Club (our official name, but we actually call ourselves Rogue Book Club) won a contest from TLC Book Tours and each member of the book club received a copy of the book.  We’ll be discussing it at my house this upcoming Thursday so I am looking forward to learning what my book club members have to say.

One item I’m sure we’ll talk about is RayAnne’s lack of faith. At the end of the novel, it makes it clear that no one in RayAnne’s family believes in Christianity.  That made me think about how maybe a lot of RayAnne’s sadness and feeling of being lost could be in a sense her disconnection from any sort of faith.  

I also loved how RayAnne’s boat was named Penelope – my daughter’s name!

Overall, Fishing with RayAnne is a good story with great characters.

Book Source:  Book Club Giveaway on TLC Book Tours


  1. Sorry for the funny font on this post, I'm having technical difficulties. I'm not sure why I can't get this to copy over from word correctly (which is how I usually write blog posts).

  2. Laura, thank you for sharing your honest thoughts about this book. It does sound more serious than "LOL". I think your book club will have a good discussion about this novel.

  3. I can't wait to discuss it tonight! It was a good book and was serious about family dynamics and death. I wish that publishers didn't misrepresent books as LOL when they are not!