A popular writer of quintessential women's fiction, Luanne Rice's
novels have been picked up for the Hallmark Hall of Fame and
productions by TNT and CBS. Will SUMMER LIGHT, her latest foray
into romantic realism, warrant equal exposure?
The protagonist is a single parent who comes from a long line of
strong female entrepreneurs. In spite of this, her independence
occasionally flags, like it does for most women who are working on
overcoming their pasts. That she allows her new husband to do all
the driving is endearing because we never want our heroines to be
too perfect. Well, OK, maybe it's annoying, too, because a woman
with the wherewithal to run her own business and raise her daughter
by herself should have grown up a bit more. After all, we aren't
living in the '70s any more.
This is a book I loved one minute and hated the next. It is a story
about relationships and about how they are destroyed. It shows how
closing down feelings corrodes love, and how we are nourished by
faith, and kindness, and familial ties. Nothing wrong with that,
right? But then it gets all sugary in spots, and the ending is a
bit of a cop-out.
Still, the characters in SUMMER LIGHT are well-rounded, and it has
enough story threads to keep the pages turning. It is
well-grounded, too. There are pictures enough of Canada and New
England in the fall to please the most visual of directors looking
for a new production. There are sports, celebrity, angels, faith,
clairvoyance, weddings, love, and independent women of all ages. In
other words, there's something for everyone and a part for
everyone, from Nick Nolte to Penelope Cruz. Maybe that's the
problem. It is just all too, too made-for-the-movies.
On the other hand, those pages didn't turn by magic. Someone had to
do it and that someone was up until one in the morning, waiting to
see how these relationships would resolve themselves. The title is
apt. It is light summer reading.
Carolyn Howard-Johnson is the author of THIS IS THE PLACE, an
award-winning work of fiction published by AmErica House.
Reviewed by Carolyn Howard-Johnson (www.tlt.com/authors/carolynhowardjohnson.htm) on January 23, 2011
- Publication Date: June 26, 2001
- Genres: Fiction
- Hardcover: 384 pages
- Publisher: Bantam
- ISBN-10: 0553801228
- ISBN-13: 9780553801224