Counting the Cost
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Counting the Cost
Posted by Hillary
Howdy friends- It's me Hillary-
Another serious book to tell you about today. A bit unusual for me to do :)
I read "Counting the Cost" by Liz Adair. If her name rings a bell, it is because she has written a few other books including, "The Spider Latham Mystery" series, which we reviewed in our debut year of podcasts.
Liz's dedication page gives a little bit of insight of where the story idea comes from, which looks like it is based on a true story. The story tells of Heck, a hard-working, salt-of-the-Earth cowboy, who meets and falls in love with the then married, East coast socialite, Ruth Reynolds.
The story starts off really quite slow. In areas that I found interesting, they were down played such as when Heck was struck by lightening. Though Heck's brother gets that moment to tell his brother how much he loves him, it really isn't that pivotal to the story. So I say either leave it out, or make it more interesting. What was expounded upon was the daily duties of a cowhand, which quite honestly was a bit boring. I did see how there was value in doing it- as it showed the love Heck had for the country, his life style, and his overall character, but it could have been shortened a bit.
The real crux of the story is about the trouble caused by Ruth leaving her husband for Heck. She is still legally married when she is assaulted by her husband, and Heck literally whisks her away. Remembering that this is the 20's, beating your wife, though frowned upon, wasn't prosecuted, or even in some cases cause of divorce. Heck saw it differently and the two left together for a new life. Once she was free from her husband, the two were married. But that is not the end of the story.
Though I really enjoyed watching the two of them really get to know each other, I was saddened by how important it was to Heck to obstain from consumating the relationship before they were legally married, only to let it go so easily. He didn't even really try to refrain. Others I have spoken with are also disappointed with this. Though there is no detail of the act, it is still disappointing when Heck hardly hesitates. I still had moments of frustration in what I would consider pivotal points down played in the book, *SPOILER ALERT* when he finds out she is barren. Though there is clearly love between the two, it is really hard to watch such huge barriers in communication. I also had some frustration with how much I liked Ruth at the beginning and by the end, I really didn't like her much.
The book ends very strange for me. Not that I need everything tied neatly up and everyone happy, but it felt like it just ended abruptly, with no apparent reason for the ending. Just loose ends...
As a whole, I would say the book is thought provoking, and unique, however I was just not terribly fond of it. Shanda put it perfectly when she told me "It's the kind of book you pick up when you're visiting someone on a farm, who doesn't own a t.v., so you start purusing the book shelf and you come across it." Me personally, I would say read it if you like a non-traditional, non-conforming romance, then give it a read. Otherwise, it may not be your "cup of tea."
ps- Shanda did have a different opinion of this book. You can find her review on this blog.
Until next week-
FTC_FYI - purchased