Tania's Words

here is an empty shell- a resonant shadow- waiting

Archive for Grand Rapids

One Scathing Book Review and a Trip to Grand Rapids

Things that have happened recently:

I fell off of the good reading wagon. But it wasn’t really my fault. First I had to read The Lost Symbol, by Dan Brown, for book club. Not that that is bad reading. But that created a snowball effect. After finishing that in the car on the way to Grand Rapids, I had the choice of reading an old Nora Roberts book (Homeport), or finishing Cry, the Beloved Country. But I was tired, and had been sidetracked from Cry by Dan Brown, so I went ahead and read Homeport. Then Monday, while at Target with Pilar, I found a book called Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy. It was written by a fan of Pride and Predjudice who had decided to write a story about what happens after they get married. I know that there are a lot of “sequels” to this book written by various authors, so I thought I’d give this one a try.

Big mistake (by the way, I’ll give five points to the first person to tag this movie quote, “You work on commission right? Big mistake. Big. Huge. I have to go shopping now.”)

Anyway. Turns out this book is actual fan fiction- started on a fan fiction website and eventually published. Man what a waste of money. Not only is the writing absolutely terrible- I mean it was cliched, trite, and often, painfully embarrassing . Moreover, it is so boring. All that ever happens is that Lizzy and William profess their love to each other, make out, say they love each other more, and so on. Seriously? The author of said book admits to having fallen in love with the characters after having watched the recent remake of the movie (which I haven’t seen). She says that she liked the book alright, but still loves the movie more than anything.

Which is apparent, as she has reduced Lizzy to a giggling, girlish, absolutely dependent nitwit. Anytime Darcy leaves her alone for any reason (like to take care of his huge estate) she cries and whines. What is worse, she has turned Darcy into a ridiculous simpleton. He is silly, overly emotional, enjoys  babbling non stop about how much he passionately, truly, deeply, loves his dear Lizzy. Ugh. Vomit. Look I like a man who can profess his love, but there is a limit. At some point, it just becomes boring, and loses its impact.

There are so many things wrong with this story, I don’t think I can even do them justice. First, the story is terrible. I mean love is great and all (why else would I read Nora Roberts?), but there is no driving force to her plot. It is just about them loving each other. To a point that it is ridiculous. She has these two intelligent, independent characters completely dependent on each other. For example, the second or third day that they are married, Lizzy wakes up to find that Darcy isn’t there. Immediately she panics, running out of their room and crying. What? Come on! Is this the kind of love story women want to read?

I’ll admit, the idea of continuing their love story intrigues me. Why else would I be reading this book? Unfortunately, the author of this book bypasses so much rich story telling material and opportunity to get a cheap thrill out of her reader. The characters transition almost seamlessly into a blissful and perfect intimate relationship. They have no real problems. They understand each other completely. Although they are both completely innocent, they are automatically perfect lovers, and have no fears or hesitations. Really?

Moreover, Lizzy is now the mistress of a huge and wealthy estate. Yet even this is hardly addressed as an obstacle or problem.  The episode where she freaks out because Darcy isn’t in bed with her is treated to more emotional drama.

Well, I am gonna move on. I don’t want to keep trashing this woman’s book- it is obvious that writing it brought her a lot of joy and I am sure others will enjoy it. It just wasn’t for me. I am sorry I wasted the 14$.

I am trying to promise myself I am going to finish Cry, the Beloved Country. But this month is my book club month, which means we are reading my  book. Which I never edited for a third time. I tried re reading it last night to start editing, and honestly, I hated it. Maybe because I’ve been reading such great literature. This book certainly isn’t literature. At all.  I am slightly embarrassed to let people read it.  But it is what it is, and that is ok. We will see what comes out of it.

Other than reading terrible books, I had a great weekend. Dan and I drove out to see Carl and Emily. They took us to the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum, which was amazing. Parker had a ton of fun exploring the various stations- he especially enjoyed the sand station, the racing cars, and of course the little barn that he could climb into. It was so  much fun to watch! Carl got some great video of it, which was really nice, as Dan and I continue to get Epic Fails in the realm of baby video making. I always think that watching Parker learn and explore is great fun, but it was nice to see that both Carl and Emily enjoyed it as well. It was so nice of them to take us there, just so Parker could have fun, so I hope they really enjoyed it. Of course it helped that Carl and Parker were immediate best friends. Usually it takes Parker a while to warm up to strangers, but not them, and especially not Carl.

I have to say, I love Grand Rapids. I wish we could move out there. It has this wonderful, “little big town” feel to it. A little bit of downtown, a little big of close knit little town. It is beautiful too. Sigh. Unfortunately, we are stuck out here. Which isn’t all bad, after all, we have amazing friends and family that would be so hard to leave. I’d definitely love to visit more often (so long as I am not a pain in Emily’s butt, as she does have this amazingly busy life). I always have a great time when I go out there, and then it takes two years to plan another trip. Lame.

Well I am off. I am making Chicken and Rice soup from scratch, and the baby is yelling about something in the kitchen.