Wednesday, September 23, 2009
I just finished reading Stray Affections by Charlene Ann Baumbich. I discovered this book as a giveaway on a blog. A really funny thing happened. The page was taking a bit of time to load but the cover of the book was up. I glanced at the cover and did a double take. There was a most interesting snowglobe on the cover. I collected snowglobes once years ago and while I still like looking at them, I doubt I would ever collect them again. But I just couldn't seem to take my eyes off this snowglobe. So when the page fully loaded and I started reading the description of the book there was a line about Cassandra (the main character) being mesmerized by this same snowglobe at a Collector's Convention. Wow! It seemed meant to be. lol. And then when I won the book I knew it was meant to be.
That said, I have mixed emotions about the book. I had a hard time putting it down and read it in two days. The characters are wonderfully written. It takes place in a small town - having grown up in a small town I love reading books that take me back to that time. There are friendships that have lasted a lifetime - along with a number of misunderstandings that have lasted a lifetime.
We get to know a lot about Cassandra - a married mother of four boys who runs a daycare out of her home. She has a life many women would love to have - a loving husband, four young boys, a very close best friend. But she also has some regrets, a mother who she never really got a long with, a childhood wish that never came true and deep, deep hurts.
There are a few things in the book that I felt were going to be major plot points that just never went anywhere. Somethings were not explained that I thought would be and I felt that left a hole in the ending of the book.
However, the main point of the story - the chance to right past wrongs, redemption and the possibility of change were spot on. The characters seemed true to life - not too good to be true. Most of the things that happened could happen in any life in any town. The cast of characters formed a beautifully extended family with very believable ties to each other.
This is the first of three books in the Snowglobes Connections series - and I'm sure I'll be looking for the next two when they come out.
And this is the first book off my Fall Into Reading list. One down - eleven more to go.