Readers’ Corner – Feb. 2021 – Romance in the Air
Crazy Rich Asians (Kevin Kwan) confirms a book is always better than its movie. Parading hilarious yet thoughtful observations and characters, the novel challenges stereotypes about the super-rich while following a young couple with their typical misunderstandings before the final, required, happy ending. Asian settings more desirable than film versions enhance every scene, and the reader closes the covers knowing we’re all similar under the skin as we face spite, gossip, and unkindness in order to gain love.
Never Retreat, Bonnie McCune. A feisty single mom clashes with an ex-military, macho corporate star at a business retreat in the wild Colorado mountains, where only one can win a huge prize. See-sawing between attraction and antagonism, the mismatched couple face their biggest challenge: learning the meaning of true partnership. When a massive flash flood sweeps down the rocky canyon and threatens their love and survival, they must put aside their difference to rescue their colleagues—and their future as a couple.
The Bear Comes Home. Rafi Zabor’s comic novel explores the eccentric life of an alto saxophone jazz musician, a talking bear fronting a band on its first major tour. Zabor does an excellent job of portraying the sheer joy and abject horror of playing for live audiences, as well as the interplay of musicians on stage. The Bear searches for musical epiphany and attempts to get his love life (he’s an ursine chick magnet) back on track. Sardonic wit and charm carry the story to its satisfying conclusion.
Pigs In Heaven. Barbara Kingsolver hit best-seller lists with this 1993 novel, a sequel to The Bean Trees, continuing the story of Taylor Greer and her adopted Native American daughter, Turtle. The twosome flees their Tucson home when the Cherokee Nation deems the adoption illegal and demands Turtle’s return. A cross-country road trip reveals family secrets and ultimately involves Taylor’s mother in unlikely romance. Issues of cultural identity, poverty, and the meaning of “family,” fill this big-hearted novel with unforgettable characters.
Author Kathleen Duhamel writes humorous contemporary romance featuring “seasoned” characters. Her newest is Fed Up. https://www.kathleenduhamel.