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Friday, September 7, 2012

Book Review, What Matters Most by Luanne Rice

This book is about two couples--both with ill-fated romances--whose paths eventually connect. It starts by telling the story of James and Kathleen, orphans who are raised by catholic nuns in Ireland. From the day that they were brought together as infants, the two became inseparable and friendship grew into romance. Their happiness is short-lived when Kathleen is adopted in her late teens and taken to live in America. James looses touch with her and makes do the best he can by being a tour driver in Ireland but Kathleen is still the love of his life.

When his real parents, Bernadette and Tom, arrive in Ireland to connect with their long lost child, James, all the suppressed anger James has pushed aside because of being given up for adoption, comes to the surface and he rejects them. Bernadette and Tom's young romance was also torn asunder because "Bernie" had a vision and a calling--she believes--to marry the church so she becomes a nun.

Though the premise a good one, and the obstacles Rice presents to thwart the romances and to stall Bernie finding her birth son--in the form of a vindictive nun--are well played, I was put off by the frustration Bernie and Tom experience in their romance. They are always near each other but never able to really have a romantic relationship.  Too much of that nettled me. My guess it will probably annoy other readers as well. Eventually they do reunite, but there is also a tragedy. I won't give the details but it seems too little too late. I love a happy ending and though this hints at the possibility of left me wishing for a little more hope at the end.  I give this 2 1/2 out of 5 stars.

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