Saturday, January 31, 2015

A Watershed Year

A Watershed Year
by Susan Schoenberger

Genre: Women's Fiction

Synopsis: Lucy never confessed her love to her best friend Harlan before he passed away.  Two months after his funeral, she is haunted by the power of things left unsaid when she receives the first of his e-mails, arranged to be sent after his death.  So begins the year everything changes-Lucy's watershed year.

In an e-mail, Harlan says something that consumes her: He's certain Lucy is destined for motherhood.  In her grief, she suddenly rediscovers hope, journeying to Russia to adopt a four-year-old boy.  When she meets her son Mat for the first time, she realizes he's also mending a wounded heart and is just as lost as she is.  Together, they learn to trust, each helping the other to heal.  But just as they're welcoming their new normal, Mat's father comes to America to reclaim his son and reveals the truth about Mat's past, which might shatter Lucy's fragile little family forever.
from the back of the book

Review:  This book was confused as to what it was trying to be.  Was it a story about grief?  Was it a romance story?  Was it a story about adoption?  Was it about religion?  I would answer yes to all those questions.  This book was trying to be too much and it didn't work.  Perhaps if the author had just focused on Lucy's relationship with Harlan and how she tried to move on with life, the book may have been better.  Or the author could have focused on Lucy's adoption and left the rest of the story out, it would have been better.  You would think from the description that most of the book is about the adoption but that is not the case.  The story line just didn't flow.  There were so many flashbacks that just seemed like they were thrown in and they didn't fit at all with what came before or after in the story.  There were also scenes that just seemed irrelevant and interrupted the flow of the story.

I also had problems with the characters.  None of them were well developed.  I felt like the characters changed quite a bit from one scene to the next and didn't stay true to how they were first portrayed.  I also felt like Lucy jumped right into the adoption without putting much thought into it even though she often wondered if it was a good idea.  Towards the beginning we meet characters in very trivial scenes and then those characters come back to play larger parts in the book but by the time they come back I had forgotten who they were.  I had high hopes for this book but I was left wanting by the end.

Rating: 2 1/2 stars

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