By Ruth Hay
- Release Date: 2017-04-04
- Genre: Fiction & Literature
Harmony House Ruth Hay Book Review Score: ★★★★★ 5/5 stars
Harmony House Ruth Hay epub; Harmony House read online; Harmony House book review; book recommendations; Harmony House Audiobook; Fiction & Literature books;.
User reviews about this book
Got what I paid for
This could have been a really good story, in the hands of a more capable author. Or maybe Ruth Hay just doesn't bother editing her first drafts - how would I know? There are actually rules regarding comma placement, but Ms. Hay is not alone in seeming to lack understanding of where those little swooshes belong, so perhaps I should not be so picky about punctuation. After all, this book has much worse problems.
The characters are all politely bland Mary Sues, with nothing but external difficulties to (gracefully and effortlessly) overcome. Once the red herring of Josette is removed from the story, no pair among all six women ever have a single disagreement. The beauty of friendship lies not in constant agreeableness, but in the interchange of feelings, thoughts, opinions and ideas, leading to intimately deep understanding of one another. The situation Ms. Hay sets up provides ample opportunity to explore how women relate, but the chance is sadly missed.
I wasn't the least bit surprised to finally see a reference to Jane Austen; I had seen the influence from the very first chapter. I'm an Austen fan myself, but her polished lines of dialogue reflect the norms of the upper classes in a different century, and she allows lower classes to speak in simpler language. Ms. Hay emulates the upper class dialogue from Dear Auntie Jane, rendering stilted and sadly expositional conversations which would never take place in reality.
This book needed a slice-and-dice edit - a deep, structural revision - before it was presented to the public. Information presented in dialogue should have been moved to paragraphs of simple exposition. The inner psyches of the characters should have been revealed to the reader before the women ever met. We should have understood their fears and weaknesses, their faults and insecurities, and then watched them all holding back at first, only gradually letting each other in. The story didn't need a dramatic attack by an estranged husband; tension between the members of a disparate group of women would have provided plenty of drama, if handled correctly.
I couldn’t put this book down. I needed to know how each woman solved her problem leading to her desire for safety, freedom and friendship. The characters are so lovable and unique that they each add a new dimension to the newly formed group. Now, I must start the next book in the series to see how the grow in their new relationships and living conditions.
I’m in the US, so while in English, it is different culture. I found the story nice, the writing a bit stiff and never fall into the story, just a mildly pleasant read. So fine for a free book but I wouldn’t have been happy to pay money for it.
A refreshingly optimistic novel of aging women who determine the way of life that best suits them. Companionship and ability to plan the future.