Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Book Review: Recipes for a Perfect Marriage - A Novel by Morag Prunty

I've picked up several books lately after reading about them in a Chinaberry catalog. I'd never gotten a catalog from them before and it's not the sort of place I'd order from, but what was great about it was the book reviews for the books they've got for sale. They had a section for different ages of kids, audio books and books for adults. Girlwood and A House of Sisters were both books I found through Chinaberry, in addition to several books Davan has been enjoying, all from the library, of course. There is just no way I could afford to keep up with our reading habits.

Speaking of reading habits and affordability, I have a little aside to share before I get onto the review. Unless they library doesn't have a copy of a book I'm interested in or I just have to own a book for repeated reference, we don't buy books. Instead, we pay fines. Now, we pay a lot less in fines than we would for books, for certain sure, but when I do accrue a fine for whatever reason, I shrug it off and think about how much cheaper it is than buying all the books we read.

Recently, I received in the mail a post card from the library saying that we'd returned a book on CD with one CD missing. Darn. Years ago, this happened pretty much all the time. We'd find it in Davan's CD player usually. Finally, I got tired of it, talked to Davan about it, started double checking myself and the problem finally went away, for the most part. Occasionally, though, it'll happen again and it's not always Davan's fault. The post card doesn't say what book it was, so I checked in the computer to see if I'd left the CD in there when burning. Nope. I asked Davan to check her player. Nope. I checked in the car. Nope. In disk player in the living room. Nope. Finally, I checked online and discovered that it was, indeed, one of Davan's books. I asked her to look again. She did. No deal. I looked in her room. Nope. I got mad and more or less told Davan she'd have to pay for it.

By a couple of days later, though, I had calmed down and, considering that neither of us could find it in her room, it maybe really wasn't there. Davan was thinking that she'd maybe put it in another book's case accidentally. Now, the library has before told me that they check for that sort of thing and if it's gone, it's our fault. So, fine, mentally, I chalked it up. Ten bucks isn't that big a deal.

The very day I came to that conclusion, Davan came out of her room with a set of disks and said she'd found a disk that didn't belong. It had been behind a disk of the book she was listening to and was from a different book that we did not check out. Ah-ha! I returned that disk to the library and then told them I thought we'd just misreturned our disk and, obviously, mistakes do happen. They waived the fee. Yay!

Back to the review...

Recipes for a Perfect Marriage was another one I'd read about in the Chinaberry catalog. Being a foodie of a sort myself and being married, I had high hopes for this book. The result, though, was mixed. I enjoyed the Irish recipes, although I'd never make them because they are all supper high in fat or sugar, which started each section of the book. The story, though, was only okay.

Tressa is a woman in her late 30s in her first year of marriage and she thinks she's made a huge mistake in marrying Dan. She wants a marriage of love and passion as modeled to her by her Irish grandparents over the course of summer visits, but this isn't it, as far as she's concerned.

Juxtaposed with Tressa's story is the story of her grandparent's marriage as told from the point of view of Tressa's grandmother, Bernadine. The grandparents, the reader therefore knows, had a much different marriage than Tressa thinks.

Sadly, I didn't identify with either woman, really, which prevented me from getting really into the book. Still, it was entertaining enough to finish, for sure. I give it a 6.

As an aside on my scoring, I usually wouldn't finish a book that scored under a 5 unless it was for a book group or I had another compelling reason to do so. If it's below average in the wide world of books, I mostly won't waste my time on it. So, a 5 is the low score of a readable (meaning I'm deriving at least some enjoyment out of it) book in my little corner of the world.

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