Disclaimer: I think Keith and Pat are really great, and I don't want them to be afraid to give me books as gifts. BUT . . .This was another birthday present, this time from my parents-in-law. It didn't look or sound like anything I would be interested in, but Pat insisted that ALL women LOVE it. (Erm . . .) My doubts were not assuaged by the "praise" printed inside the front cover, which included, "Moyes's story provokes tears," "read it and weep," and "should be sold with a pack of tissues." I HATE shameless tearjearkers (which is why I shun Nicholas Sparks). Then there was "the perfect modern love story" and "romantic through and through." Not helping. You know how romance makes me gag.
So, as much as I appreciated the gift and the thought behind it, this book and I did not get off to a good beginning. Aaaaand . . . it did not get better from there. I suppose I must grudgingly admit that as romance novels go this one may be better than the usual--or at least different from the usual--due to the challenges faced by its leading man, and the unconventional portrayal of "happily ever after." Louisa Clark, perfectly content in her very small life, loses her snug job in a local café and is forced to reach outside her comfort zone. She finds a new position as caregiver for a handsome quadriplegic. And, what do you know, they fall in love. (Cue regurgitation).
Heartbreaking as this situation might have been in real life, I didn't give a flip for the characters as I read about them. They just didn't seem believable, or even very likable. And as far as the threat of tears: not only did I not cry, but I didn't even remotely feel like I might. I insist that this was just as much a result of the book's shortcomings as it was the fault of my own callous psyche.
This book has sold more than three million copies! Somebody must have loved it (including all women, except for me.) I wonder how it might have transformed my experience if I could have come to this book with an open mind? . . . Nah, it couldn't have made a difference.