“Was she just another pretty girl to kiss?” ~Poetry Adventure and Love
Poetry Adventure and Love by Ed Elgar: 2.5/5 stars
Cassie was a high school art teacher in San Francisco. At thirty-one, she accepts a job managing an art centre in an aboriginal community in the wild and remote north of Australia. She arrives at this exotic location, physically and mentally weary, yet somehow spiritually renewed. She tries to convince herself that she’s over the break-up of her 10 year relationship with James and is immediately wary of her connection with 2 seemingly eligible, strong and possibly dangerous men, Mario and Ben. We learn that perhaps Cassie has never cried, yet no sooner than she arrives and crashes her boat, her tears come.
Her character begins with this complex paradox for the reader: She must be pretty tough; she just sailed across the Pacific single-handed. On the other hand, she seems to go to pieces after she crashes her boat.
This underlying enigma and character complexity carries forward and we can’t help but wonder how Cassie will cope with some of the difficult and dangerous situations she finds herself encountering. Her first major test happens when Dumatja, the Yolngu elder linked to the art centre, physically threatens Cassie and the reader must fear for her ability to survive.
This story is set in a place you could never imagine exists today. There are crocodiles, buffalo and other things that will kill you and the Yolngu natives still practice their ancient ceremony and dance while struggling within the fringes of the 21st century. You will be captivated by the colour, the smells, the strange personification of evil. You may even shed a tear as you journey with this strong, independent woman, laugh with her witty repartee and be warmed as her love story unfolds.
*This review does include some spoilers*
I wasn’t originally going to do a review over this novel, but I always take notes when I read a book on my Kindle so I decided to do a review. As you can see I gave this review a low score of 2.5 stars. I gave it this rating, because I didn’t love this book but I didn’t hate it either. It was just an okay book so I decided it deserved a 50/50 rating, because that’s how I felt about it.
I thought the writing style wasn’t that great and the story was very predictable and mediocre. However, there was something about it that kept me reading it so in my opinion that’s not too bad. I could tell what was going to happen from the beginning and I thought that would ruin the book for me, but it didn’t so that was a pleasant surprise.
I really liked the setting of the book, it was in Arnhem which is in Australia. I have never read a book in a setting such as this one and I found it very interesting and different to read about, so I really liked that. The author just helped portray it very well and like I said it was so different and it helped me get into the novel.
Let’s talk about characters! Cassie is the main character and I liked her but at times she seemed really annoying to me. She’s a thirty year old woman yet I felt as though she acted like a child sometimes. Anyway, she wasn’t horrible and I liked hearing her tell the story and hearing about her travels. The other characters that you hear about pretty frequently are Ben and Mario. Mario is pretty much a player that just wants to hook up with Cassie and Ben is an interesting character. Ben seems pretty unsure about Cassie in the beginning, but then you learn he’s actually falling in love with her just as she is with him. Ben could be pretty rude and I didn’t really like that because it made him seem childish, when he’s a grown man and should act like one. Another character I figured I should mention is Karen, she’s also in love with Ben so if you can’t tell that’ll create some drama.
Speaking of drama this book reminded me of the type of drama you would see in middle school. These two girls want the same guy so they hate each other and then this other guy wants the same girl so the two guys hate each other, but no one will say they love anyone they just pretend they don’t. Since it was like middle school drama that did ruin the book a little.
Anyway, the book’s plot was pretty predictable and it all seemed so cliché that I already knew how everything would play out. That obviously did ruin the book to some extent, but I did like reading this book. It got me out of my reading slump, because it was just an easy read and for that I am thankful. I’m glad I read it now, because I doubt I would’ve gotten to it anytime soon.
Since it’s such a predictable book it’s pretty obvious that this guy named Dumatja, who attacked Cassie when she first arrived, was going t be a problem throughout the book which he is. So, in the end when he takes Cassie in an attempt to kill her it was no surprise and I found it so cliché. However, the thing that bothered me most is that Ben proposed to Cassie after he saved her from Dumatja. This bothered me so much because they hardly ever kissed and I felt like it was just kind of weird rather than sweet.
Another thing in the book is that you learn about Ben’s last love named Laura, who died in a car accident. In the novel it’s written to seem like you’re wondering what happened, but it wasn’t that hard to figure out in my opinion. So that seemed like a problem to me since all the climaxes in the book were pretty predictable. Anyway, not too many spoilers, but I thought I would mention those since they’re key parts of the book and I felt like they could’ve been really good if executed better.
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants an easy read or might like this, I mean I don’t know what other people like that I might not. It wasn’t a bad book but it wasn’t really good either, but it deserves a chance.