CLICK HERE FOR THOUSANDS OF FREE BLOGGER TEMPLATES »

Friday, February 09, 2007

Sugar Shock...

I've been aware of the works of Catherine Anderson since I became involved with reading romance. Her works seem to be generally enjoyed and well reviewed, but to this cold, cynical bitch, the synopses of her books inspired mixed feelings of revulsion and fascination. Ms. Anderson seems to specialize in saintly, but "damaged" heroines, and equally good, kind and patient heroes. Her love stories are tailor made for such adjectives as tender, poignant, inspiring and other words that give me the heebie-jeebies. At the same time, they also seem quite original, and thus, compelling. At work the other night, I couldn't resist the following blurb, from My Sunshine:


He didn't need anyone—
until one woman brought sunshine into his life...

The New York Times bestselling author delivers her most poignant Coulter family novel yet...

Five years ago, Laura Townsend's life was nearly destroyed when a head injury impaired her ability to use language and forced her to abandon a brilliant career. Despite her difficulties, however, she never lost her vivacious spirit or sunny disposition. Now she has a great new job at an animal clinic—and a handsome new boss who fills her heart with longing. But veterinarian Isaiah Coulter deserves a woman who can meet all his needs. Battling her feelings, Laura decides that sometimes a woman must love a man enough to walk away...

When Isaiah hired Laura, he wasn't expecting her to be such a breath of fresh air. Impressed by her healing touch—and captivated by her dazzling beauty—Isaiah finds himself falling in love. And he'll move heaven and earth to convince Laura that she's the woman he needs...the only one who can bring joy to all his days.

C'mon folks! Brain damage? How could I resist finding out what happened?

[Click on post title for the review.]


Laura Townsend is a woman of many talents, despite her brain damage. She is gorgeous, kind, she cooks and bakes, she's great at Shabby Chic decorating, she always says grace before meals, and she can talk to animals (well, pretty much). In fact, I do believe that cartoon birds braid her hair in the morning. Gah! Seriously though, although Laura was rather Disney Princess too good to be true, one of the things I liked most about about this book was the treatment of her disability, a type of brain damage called Aphasia. While Laura was all sweetness and sunshine, her problem was treated fairly unsentimentally. Aphasia affects the language centers of one's brain, and I was concerned that Laura would be some kind of ethereal woman-child who spoke like Jodie Foster in that movie. But Laura seemed like an intelligent, self-sufficient woman, who had found means to compensate for her difficulties, and even had a sense of humor about them. Except for the scene where we find out that she is a thirty-one year old virgin. It's not the virgin part that bothers me, because I do know people who waited to have sex, not because of religious convictions, but just because they hadn't found anyone they wanted enough to do that with. Plus, she had had her accident five years ago. It was that she was completely clueless about all things sexual. She didn't think a penis would be thicker than a tampon? Please, she was a scientist. It made her seem stupid, which was unfortunate.

Every once in awhile, my husband makes me this dessert where he sticks Twinkies into a bowl of ice cream, squirts chocolate syrup all over it, and then zaps it in the microwave for ten seconds. I know it's going to make my stomach hurt from all the sweetness, and its going to give me an ice cream headache, but it's just SO GOOD. It's warm and gooey and yummy and makes me feel happy. That's exactly what My Sunshine was like for me. It was so sweet that it made my teeth hurt, and it sometimes had me rolling my eyes, but I absolutely devoured it. The hero, Isaiah Coulter, was a nice guy, a workaholic veterinarian from a large, warm hearted family (this is actually part of a series involving the various Coulter siblings. He was less interesting than Laura, but they were well suited. The story, and their romance, developed at a nice pace, showing the evolution of their feelings for each other.

I could've done without the hammering over and over of just how wonderfully angelic Laura was, and without the long descriptions of the decor. Who cares about her Raggedy Ann dolls, animal knick knacks, and garage sale furniture? From the get go I pegged "the villain", as well as what was going to happen. I thought this external conflict was a bit unnecessary, because there was plenty of juicy internal conflict there, with what Laura's difficulties might mean for their future, could they overcome it all, etc. But the bad guy's breakdown at the end was pretty hilarious, so that was good. It was a lovely, and yes, sweet, love story. I would give this one a solid B. I would've rated it higher, but it was too sugary for my tastes. However, I am very interested in seeking out other Anderson novels. I'll be devouring them until my husband finds me, curled up in the fetal position, rocking back and forth and muttering phrases like "dear heart", "sweetness and sunshine," and "puppies and flowers." It will take repeated viewings of "Sid and Nancy" and "The Royal Tenenbaums" and chain smoking a pack of Camel Lights while listening to Smiths albums to bring me back to my old self. But I suspect it will all be worth it.

6 comments:

Kristie (J) said...

She used to be an autobuy author for me years ago, but one day I just overdosed on the sugar content and couldn't read another one of her books. It was a shame really because she does write well. But just too much sugar/syrup/sachrine did me in on this author. LOL - Now I'm curious as to how many you can read before the same thing happens to you.

Devon said...

kristie(j)--I have a feeling that it won't be long at all before I can't take it no more. But a couple of them are just screaming at me to them.

Holly said...

If you go check SF I think I reviewed most of these. I'd stay away from a couple completely, but for the most part, they are good.

My favorite is Summer Breeze. Fabulous read.

The rest? Meh. Wayy sugary.

Devon said...

aha! I will definitely check out your reviews.

Psycheros said...

In Catherine Anderson's Coulter-Kendrick saga, the daughter of the family is wheelchair bound, one daughter-in-law is blind, another has brain damage, and the others have low self-esteem. I think she went overboard with the disabilities, which makes the overall plot unrealistic. (One stand alone handicap story is fine, although the brain damage is stretching it a little.)

Devon said...

There was a Thanksgiving scene in this one, with all the various family member that had me rolling my eyes. It is a bit much.

Welcome to the blog, btw.