>> Sunday, October 13, 2002

I haven't had time to write my impressions about the two books I've just finished. Let's see if I can get something done. First off: Montana Sky, which I gave a B+.

It's strange, but I really liked this one even though I didn't particularly like Willa and Lily, 2 of the 3 protagonists. That, having 3 love stories developing at the same time, BTW, is a bit of a departure from what I usually read. Only Suzanne Brockmann does something like this, but even in her stories there's one story line which is the most important. I don't think I'd like to read nothing but triple stories, but as an exception, it was interesting. Anyway, continuing with the protagonists:

  • Willa was really tiresome. She was a crankier Eve Dallas, without Eve's good points. Her attitude was all holier-than-thou, and I really hate that, and throughout most of the book she seemed not to have a sense of humour. Something that really bugged me: WTF is wrong with selling the land to developpers, if they pay you 3 times its cost for ranching? And why would Willa get so angry that they were offering? Just say no, you twit. They're making you a generous offer, no need to be all offended by it. Ah, I really hated her!
  • Lily... I feel like a bitch, but all that sweetness and light got annoying very quickly. I liked her much better when she got mad at everyone and just let it rip :-D.
  • Tess was great. Bitchy, which I love, but nice. The only problem I had with her story was with how it was resolved, with Nate never even considering leaving his ranch for her.
That was my problem with this whole book, BTW. The message that living in a ranch is the best thing anyone could ever do, and the implication that anyone who preferred to live in the city must have something wrong with them.

Apart from that message, the ranching stuff was more interesting than I thought it would be, especially because it was so different from what I know here in Uruguay. Much more work: here it's mostly (mostly, I said!) let the cattle out to graze and gather them to give them their medicines, brand, dehorn and castrate or to send them to the slaughterhouses. No feedlots or stuff like that (shameless plug: that's why our red meat is much healthier than the meat from develped countries. Our cows are fed mainly grass, so their meat has almost no fat or colesterol!). I was completely appalled when I read that because of the growth hormones the cows are given, the calves are too big to be born naturally. That doesn't happen here.

I notice I haven't even mentioned the male protagonists. That's because this was almost Women's Fiction: the story was more about the heroines' growth and the development of ther relationship as sisters than about their love lifes. These last were the cherry on the cake, but not the main focus of the story.

The darkness of the suspense subplot provided a good counterpoint to the uplifting story of the characters' growth. It was a bit too bloody (and Roberts seemed to relish a bit too much giving us the details of the murders and rapes), but it hit the right note for the story.


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