Thursday, July 28, 2011

Eye of the Beholder by Ruth Ann Nordin

So I wasn't expecting much from this book, but the price was right (.99) and the premise sounded somewhat interesting (a homely woman answers an ad seeking a mail order bride; upon seeing her, the man who placed the ad refuses to marry her, so she ends up marrying another man in the same town).  Author Ruth Ann Nordin seems to polarize her readers, based on the many 5-star reviews balanced by a few 1-stars, so I thought I'd see what all the fuss was about.

It turns out that Nordin hits on the single most important key to successful writing: it's the story, stupid!  Her writing is plain.  I mean vanilla would seem spicy next to Nordin's prose.  As her critics point out, her historical characters speak as if they were alive today, using modern idioms with wild abandon.  And there are certain places where we're asked to suspend disbelief more than one rightly should.  However--and this is a big however--she has crafted a sweet, original story that appeals to many romance fans.  I can see why she's earned all those five-star reviews and a sizable fan base.

For me, the distractions (like the aforementioned dialogue and sometimes wooden prose) do make the book suffer a bit, but I was left with an overwhelmingly favorable impression of the book due to the sweet story that Nordin created.  If you're looking for a fun clean read, this could be just the book for you.  Four stars.


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