I am having vision issues which are terrifying to someone whose work and interests lie in reading and writing. Because of this, I am falling behind in some of my reviewing commitments and ask for your support and patience.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
The Outer Edge of Heaven...Review
Montana truly is heavenly. Especially those handsome cowboys.
Her parents want a clout wielding attorney, safely enthroned in an appropriately high end Mercedes sedan and a tailored business suit.
She just wants to teach kindergarten.
When her “all-powerful” parents actually choose her future husband, who just happens to be a divorce lawyer named Elroy, Charlie opts out and heads for Big Sky Country. After all, who marries a divorce lawyer? She and her best friend Fo, who have been buddies since the third grade, go to work on his cousin’s sprawling ranch in the heart of the Montana Rockies.
Filled with colorful characters of all shapes, sizes and species, including an orphaned baby pig, most of the Langston family put the fun in dysfunctional, -give or take a couple of black sheep. There’s one in every family, isn’t there? Add to that glorious scenery, a horse of her own, and one extremely attractive cousin rancher, Luke Langston, and it makes for a summer never to be forgotten. Which might not be a good thing. She has the time of her life, but her heart may never recover.
Charlie has difficult parents who want to run her life. Instead of returning home after graduation, she travels to Montana with her best friend, Fo, and obtains a job working on his uncle's ranch. She finds herself attracted to his cousin, at odds with his uncle's wife and trying to avoid unwanted attention from other men around the ranch.
Charlie was just too good to be true. She arrives in Montana and within a day has Luke's entire family just eating out of her hand. She solves all the children's behavior problems, reconciles Luke with his dad, helps a young woman decide on adoption, and it goes on and on. Her parents are ridiculous and unbelievable.
There are a lot of topics covered in the Outer Edge of Heaven and it's almost too much. The LDS elements are scarce to the point that they seem like afterthoughts, rather than something that should be intrinsic to an LDS novel. For example, Luke's dad is on the high council and yet his third wife is openly unfaithful with little plausible explanation about how they came to be married in the first place. Charlie's parents' obsessions with status and society and running their daughter's life and arranging her marriage didn't mesh with LDS values of temple marriage and family.
I think Jaclyn Hawkes has a lot of potential and these characters had a great deal of promise. I enjoyed her first novel A Journey of Honor and looked forward to reading The Outer Edge of Heaven. Unfortunately, this one didn't have the same appeal and I would have loved to see this story after it had been more developed and edited.
Thanks to the author for sending me an unsolicited copy. You can learn more about Jaclyn M. Hawkes here. You can purchase your own copy here.