Saturday, October 10, 2015

That Part Was True by Deborah McKinlay~★★★

Author: Deborah McKinlay
Title: That Part Was True
Release Date: February 10, 2015 (hardback was released February 4, 2014)
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Genre: Fiction

Book Cover: "When Eve Petworth writes to Jackson Cooper to praise a scene in one of his books, they discover a mutual love of cookery and food. Their friendship blossoms against the backdrop of Jackson's colorful, but ultimately unsatisfying, love life and Eve's tense relationship with her soon-to-be married daughter. As each of them offers, from behind the veils of semi-anonymity and distance, wise and increasingly affectionate counsel to the other, they both begin to confront their problems and plan a celebratory meeting in Paris--a meeting that Eve fears can never happen."

Taryn's Review: This is the second book that kept me occupied while I rocked on a boat during Hurricane Joaquin. I found it in the ship's library and liked the cute cover, and I also wanted a book that I could zip through without too much effort.

Eve Petworth and her story were much more interesting to me than Jackson Cooper's story line. In fact, Cooper was rather unlikable overall. He came off so pompously at times and his "writer's block" situation garnered no sympathy from me. Eve was the real character of interest, as the book revealed she had been left by her ex-husband when their daughter was just an infant and forced to live with her mother, who was overbearing, critical, and harsh toward Eve. Eve never felt good enough and this often manifested through panic attacks and anxiety that would cause her to avoid situations.

Honestly, the book's downfall was how much was crammed into such a small book. I think the situation with Izzy, Eve's daughter, could have been pared down and more time could have been devoted to Eve. A big question I had that was never answered was where did Eve (or her mother) get all that money to where they never had to work? It might not seem like an important detail, but I think when one delves into the character background to explain their behaviors, it is really important. Did Eve ever have to work? What kind of schools did she attend? Did she ever plan on a career or was it understood she would stay home? I think the last question is important given how she ended up with her ex-husband.

I wish we would have only seen the book through the eyes of Eve rather than including Jackson and Izzy.  I really liked Eve and wanted to know more about her, but too much time was spent on the other two characters who I never found myself interested in knowing.

I read this book really quickly and had a clear sense of the scenes, so credit to McKinlay for her precise writing ability. Ultimately the book was pleasant enough but the story was flat at times. If I'm ever in the market for a quick, easy read I might pick up a McKinlay book again if it were available, but I wouldn't seek it out.

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