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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Book Review, Voices in Summer

I'm still an avid Rosamunde Pilcher fan and recently completed reading Voices in Summer. Pilcher remains the master of writing about British provential life. Her plots are never earth shattering or edge-of-the-seat but more about people living every day lives with every day struggles. Because she is so excellent with character development and adding in small details, it makes what would normally be mundane interesting. Few people can do that well but Pilcher does.

I won't summarize the book but I will say that her main character, Laura, is likeable and her little dog Lucy adds a level to Laura who dotes on her. Laura cannot have children and she treats Lucy like her child. She's the second.much younger wife of Alec, whose marriage disintegrated several years earlier, partly due to his all consuming work and partly due to his selfish wife Erica who cares more for horses, and a comfortable social life than she does for anyone or anything else. When  Erica  decides to move to Virginia with her new love, a professional horse competitor, she informs Alec she is taking his daughter Gabriel with her.   The gaping void--the loss of children and a family--is what is most glaringly missing from Alec and Lucy's marriage, though the marriage is a much happier one.

 When Laura must recuperate from minor female surgery (Pilcher never actually tells us what the problem is) she goes to Cornwall to stay with relatives of Alec, while he's away in Scotland, a trip planned way in advance of the surgery. We get to know the quirky characters who include a free spirited single mom and renter, an unmarried son of the aunt, an uncle who is a former Naval officer, an ex widowed girlfriend of Alec's and an aged Nanny suffering from dementia. Unlike other works of Pilcher's that I can recall, this book does have an element of suspense, with minor mystery and intrigue, but it doesn't develop until the end and feels a bit tacked on on, though it does increase the reader's suspense. All in all it's a pleasant read and I'll give it a 4 our of 5 stars.

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