Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Fireworks Over Toccoa

Fireworks over ToccoaFireworks over Toccoa by Jeffrey Stepakoff

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This book was okay. The characters were flat, the plot was interesting but poorly written and executed, and the writing was flat-out clunky. The writing was really what killed it for me. I knew within the first two pages of the book that it was going to be a struggle for me. The first page is the random finding of a key piece of evidence by unrelated characters. The next few pages introduce the grand-daughter of the main character as a story witness (which in my opinion was completely unnecessary as the grand-daughter's relationship had so little to do with the storyline that it would have been better without those few pages of bulk). And then there's this crazy back to the past, back a little further into the past, forward into the past storyline. Which I hate. Just tell the story already! And finally the writing... clunky, overfed and a random POV. Seriously, there was one sentence that covered three topics and was over 200 words long! It was painful to read. The random POV kills me every time I read it - one character POV per chapter please. Especially when it's a story that someone is remembering - how do you read the other character's thoughts and memories? First rule of writing: Show it, don't say it. A very poorly written book (which at least gives me hope for publishing my own writing some day...), but an interesting love story. I particularly liked Lily's split personality and some of the tie-ins between past and future and legends.

Synopsis: An unexpected discovery takes eighty-four-year-old Lily Davis Woodward to 1945, and the five days that forever changed her life. Married for only a week before her husband was sent to fight in WWII, Lily is anxious for his return, and the chance to begin their life together. In honor of the soldiers' homecoming, the small Georgia town of Toccoa plans a big celebration. And Jake Russo, a handsome Italian immigrant, also back from war, is responsible for the elaborate fireworks display the town commissioned. But after a chance encounter in a star-lit field, he steals Lily's heart and soul—and fulfills her in ways her socially-minded, upper-class family cannot. Now, torn by duty to society and her husband—and the poor, passionate man who might be her only true love—Lily must choose between a commitment she's already made and a love she’s never known before.

Recommended Reading:
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Shanghai Girls by Lisa See
One Fifth Avenue by Candace Bushnell
The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf
On Mystic Lake by Kristin Hannah

Book 3 of Self-Challenge

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