Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Gin and Chowder Club by Nan Rossiter

From back of book:

The friendship between the Coleman and Shepherd families is as old and comfortable as the neighboring houses they occupy each summer on Cape Cod.  Samuel and Sarah Coleman love those warm months by the water; the evenings spent on their porch, enjoying gin and tonics, good conversation and homemade clam chowder.  Here they've watched their sons, Isaac and Asa, grow into fine young men, and watched, too, as Nate Shepherd, aching with grief at the loss of his first wife, finally found love again with the much younger Noelle.

But beyond the surface of these idyllic gatherings, the growing attraction between Noelle and handsome, college-bound Asa threatens to upend everything.  In spite of her guilt and misgivings, Noelle is drawn into a reckless secret affair with far-reaching consequences.  And over the course of one bittersweet, unforgettable summer, Asa will learn more than he ever expected about love - the joys and heartache it awakens in us, the lengths we'll go to keep it, and the countless ways it can change our lives forever...

My thoughts:

When I first saw this book I thought it would be a nice summer read - a light chick lit type of book.  And I was right about it being a light read, however it bordered more toward the Christian lit genre than chick lit.  I wasn't expecting to read a book peppered with religion throughout, which is pretty much what I got.  Now, I'm not one to read Christian lit normally, so I'll admit that my opinion about this book may be skewed - nonetheless, here goes.

This is a book about infidelity and the ways in which it impacts lives.  Asa has known Uncle Nate forever and has grown fond of his wife, Noelle (she's fifteen years younger than Nate and is his second wife - Annie, his first wife passed away years ago).  Except, this fondness is starting to turn into lust and well, you can imagine where that takes the story.  Noelle kisses Asa (she tells him they are just friends) + Asa can't get Noelle out of his head = an affair is born.  Hearts are broken and a baby is born.  Oh, and there is a death, which I'm sure is supposed to tug at your heart strings, but it just made me roll my eyes. Why did I roll my eyes? Because I knew who was going to die and what would happen afterward - it was so obvious! I hate when you already know what is going to happen before it happens - it makes for a boring read.

I admit it - I didn't really care for the book.  The writing was good, but it didn't really hold my attention.  I pretty much read the book in one sitting and found that I was happy when it was finally over.  I just felt that the story lacked personality and the characters were cliched.  In fact the plot was so unoriginal that I felt like I was re-reading a story.  The only things I did like were the book cover (I love hydrangeas) and the bits and bobs that mentioned To Kill A Mockingbird and A Separate Peace - that's pretty much it.  This is not a book I will remember.

Just wanted to say thanks to Wallace for letting me participate in her first ever Early Readers Group read with this book!


Ti said...

I liked this one alot more than you did! It sort of surprises me too. What did you think of the setting? I fell in love with it and although it was a bit predictable, I thought the author did a good job with the sexual tension...the angst, etc. I am not at all religious but I didn't really notice the religious tone. I forgot about it until you mentioned it.

Nadia said...

Ti, I know! I was surprised by how much you liked it. Your review is what made me want to read it. I just thought it was okay, but it really lacked something. The setting was great, but that was about it. Who wouldn't want to live on Cape Cod? Oh well, we can't always like them all, right?

bermudaonion said...

I don't mind some religion in a book as long as it's not preachy.

Nadia said...

bermudaonion, I'm with you on that front. As long as they aren't preaching to me and as long as its not repetitively thrown in the book just to show how good these characters truly are, in spite of their very bad behavior - which is precisely what this book did (UGH!).

Lisa said...

What a disappointment! At least it was a quick read!