by Margaret Nava, contemporary (2008)
Bell Bridge Books, $14.95, ISBN 978-0-9802453-2-5
The heroine of Egret Cove, Angela Dunn, is in her sixties, so this story is not exactly your typical chick-lit story. She has some familiar dilemmas in her life though. Her husband ditched her for a younger woman as well as cleared their bank account, she loves her chocolates too much, she doesn't like her job, and her social life isn't exactly happening at the moment. When her brother informs her that she could come down to Florida and move into an absent neighbor's trailer for a year or so (the neighbor is looking for someone to take care of his home while he does his thing in Africa, you see), she decides to do just that. New friends, a new boyfriend, and lots of good things await in Egret Cove, Florida, so Angela is going to be having the time of her life.
I really want to love this story, I do, but I have to say that Angela's personality drives me crazy. Early in the story, she is so mired in inertia that it takes considerable effort on her brother's part to get her to do something instead of merely wallowing in her self-pity. I try to be understanding, especially as I know very well that the older we get, the harder it is sometimes to adapt to changes in our lives, but Angela is so whiny and bent on being a martyr in those parts of the story. And once she settles in in Egret Cove, she meets a pleasant gentleman and plenty of new and good friends. But old habits die hard, I suppose, and she allows herself to play the martyr and let herself be taken advantage of to the point that she actually drives away the very person that is making her happy. At this point, I can only wish that someone would sit Angela and give her a nice heart-to-heart talk about getting a spine and stop letting people walk all over her.
The writing is clean and readable, although the author tends to focus too much on minutia to the point that the pacing of the story can become really slow as a result. I really like the idea of a story of self-discovery and starting again featuring a woman in her sixties, but alas, the heroine's doormat personality in this story makes it hard for me to appreciate Egret Cove. It could be a fun read, I suppose, if you have a higher tolerance for heroines like Angela.
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