Saturday, March 3, 2012

Book Review: Head in the Clouds

Head in the Clouds. Karen Witemeyer. 2010. Bethany House. 366 pages.

Tonight is the night. She could feel it. Adelaide Proctor stared at the man across from her, so many flutters dancing in her stomach she couldn't possibly eat a bite of the apple pie he'd just ordered for her. The secret smiles he'd sent her that morning over breakfast at the boardinghouse, his request to dine with her so they might discuss the future...

The jacket of this one reads (in part):
Adelaide Proctor longs to find a real-life storybook hero to claim as her own. But when a husband-hunting debacle leaves her humiliated, she interviews for a governess position on a remote Texas sheep ranch and vows to leave her silly romantic yearnings behind.
It just seemed like a novel that I'd really, really enjoy. Historical fiction set in Texas in the late nineteenth century with a heroine who is teacher-turned-governess to an ENGLISH gentleman and his child. I mean, with a description like this, how could I not love it?!

Did I love it? Not exactly love. But strong like. What I liked best about Head in the Clouds were the characters. I enjoyed Adelaide Proctor and Gideon Westcott. I really, really liked Gideon! I thought the way their relationship developed was great. While there was some melodramatic stuff going on in the background, these two were meant to be together. What I'm not saying very well is that even if the book had not thrown in a lot of "drama" and "melodrama" and "tension" and "obstacles" these two would have fallen in love, gotten married, and spent their lives together as a family. Sometimes I think romance authors fail to realize just how interesting ordinary real-life love is. Tension, obstacles, natural disasters, close calls with death, evil villains with evil schemes, well, these things are just distractions to the real story. Some writers may feel they are needed. Maybe publishers think they are needed too. But. I'm not sure that they really, truly are.

While I definitely enjoyed the characters, while I definitely kept reading because I liked the characters, I didn't love the plot exactly. I mean I kept reading because I loved the characters. But the villain and his sidekicks and his schemes, well, they were just silly to me. I mean, I think they were supposed to represent a great threat and a definite obstacle. The villain, I think, is meant to be feared--greatly feared because he's allegedly already killed a few times. But. To me. It was just in the way of a good story.

Read Head in the Clouds

  • If you like historical fiction set in Texas
  • If you like historical romance set in the 1880s
  • If you prefer sheep to cows in your ranching fiction
  • If you like governess-falling-in-love-with-her-employer stories
  • If you like heroines who wear only yellow 

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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