Sunday, May 20, 2007

Bitter Sweet by LaVyrle Spencer

A tragedy has happened . . . the Mom's Club I belong too started a book club and NO ONE TOLD ME ABOUT IT! I got an email earlier this month about the second pick, Bitter Sweet by LaVryle Spencer, which I thought must be the first pick. I emailed back in much excitment only to discover there had been a meeting already - WITHOUT ME. I was distressed! How could there be a Mom's Club book club without me? I guess that's what happens when you miss a business meeting because you were up until 4 AM doing some exciting engineering modeling:-) It sounds like this book club will be more on "lighter" reading material than my Kewaunee library book club.

Anyway - I finished this book on Friday and really enjoyed it. It has been a hectic last few weeks and this was the perfect book for me to read during a hectic time. It was an enjoyable, light read.

This book tells the story of Maggie Pearson. She has recently been widowed after her husband died in a plane crash. Now at 40, she finds herself alone as her only daughter leaves for college in Chicago (Maggie lives in the state of Washington). She gets back in touch with her old high school friends from Fish Creek, Wisconsin. That's right - this book is set in Door County, Wisconsin, just north of where I live. It made me want to drive up there and check it out - I still have never been further north than Sturgeon Bay! I'll be up north later this summer when we go camping with Corinna, Phil, and Clara. Anyway, Maggie visits her old friends in Door County and decides that she wants to change her life and use the insurance money from her husband's death to buy an old victorian house in Fish Creek and make it into a bed and breakfast.

She meets up again with her high school sweetheart, Eric Severson. Maggie and Eric were in love in high school, but drifted apart in college. Eric married a beautiful woman named Nancy, who is very career oriented. They lived in Chicago until Eric's Dad died and they moved back to Door County to help his brother run the family charter fishing business. Eric finds himself unhappy in his marriage as he wants children before it's too late and Nancy does not. At this time, he finds himself drawn to his old love, Maggie. And you have to read the book to find out the rest!

This book had very well drawn three-dimensional characters. So often in novels, "evil" characters are written as very one-dimensional people. In this book, that would have been Eric's wife, Nancy. Nancy does do a lot of negative things, but the book makes sure to point out that Eric has changed too and has not been the best husband to Nancy. Maggie's mother is also not a very nice person, but the book at least attempts to write about how things are from her point of view.

I enjoyed this book. If you want a light, enjoyable read about Wisconsin's beautiful Door county - I highly recommend it!

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