Saturday, August 19, 2017

Pieces of Happiness: A novel about friendship

Thank you for stopping by today.  I hope you are having a pleasant Saturday. Sally Goldenbaum's Murder Wears Mittens will be published on August 29.  It is the first book Seaside Knitters Society.  I always enjoy mystery novels that incorporate yarn, knitting, crochet, etc.  You should see my large yarn collection (takes up seven totes in my closet).

Pieces of Happiness by Anne Ostby is the story of five friends starting a new lease on life in their 60s.   Kat had finally settled down in Korototoka, Fiji with her husband, Nicklaus after year of traveling.  Unfortunately, they only got to enjoy Vale nei Kat, the cocoa plantation, for a few years before he passed away.  Kat wrote to her four high school friends (that she has not seen in forty years) inviting them to join her in Fiji.  It will give all them a chance to reconnect and start a new venture together.  Ingrid, Sina, Lisbeth, Maya and Kat had never thought they would get such an opportunity and leap at the opportunity.  Their golden years will be filled with friendship, happiness and chocolate.  Each one of them have secrets they wish to keep hidden, but it is hard to do with good friends.   The first thing the five of them need to decide is how to make the farm profitable.  Soon Kat’s Chocolate is born.  Can they make a success of the business?  Can the five friends live out the rest of their days together?  See how these five women fare in this book about friendship, second chances and healthy chocolate. 

Pieces of Happiness was not a pleasant read for me (made me wish we could read a preview before agreeing to review).  The POV alternates between the five women and the housekeeper which made it confusing (especially if you put the book down and then come back to it hour later).  All the characters are thrown at you and I never did get them straight (they each have a different story).  I found the pace to be slow (plodding).  The writer is overly descriptive and likes flowery prose (which I found off putting).  It reminded me of how people talked in the 1960s (based on movies, not actual experience—just to clarify).  Think San Francisco, Haigh-Ashbury, laid back islands, crystals, Zen.  I believe I am too sensible for this novel.  The writing seemed clunky (for lack of a better word) and the book was too long (you can see why I started skimming—my term for speedreading).  It could be (in part) the translation of the writing from the author’s native language to English (but this should have been corrected by the editor).  I found the story a little boring and it ended as expected.  I give Pieces of Happiness 2 out of 5 stars (I did not like it).  I tried several times to get into and read this novel (the blurb made it sound good).  I ended up skimming through the book to see what happened to each character (I always finish a book I agreed to review).  I was not the right reader for this book.

I am off to relax (I am sick with a cold) and my daughter is coming by for a visit later.  I will be sharing my thoughts on The Paris Spy by Susan Elia MacNeal when next I return (depends upon my cold). Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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