Sunday, May 24, 2009

Lesbian Book Review: October's Promise

Back Cover Copy: Just because parts of her life are unsatisfactory and dull, there's no reason for Libby Jackson to bolt for New Hampshire, even if she did just receive a large inheritance from a mysterious source. But she does just that. The urban comforts of New York quickly seem light years away when her journey is hampered by cars that won't start, locks that won't turn and a strange dog that has decided that Libby would be the perfect owner.

Quinn Barnett is in no mood for damsels in distress. Her reasons for partaking of New England's fall colors is deeply personal and painful. She's promised to do one thing on this trip, and falling in love isn't it. Once her mission is accomplished she's moving on - if only she can start some cars, unlock some doors and get that bothersome stray to leave her alone.

The golden shores of a beautiful New England lake and glory of October's sunsets should create the prefect stage for falling in love, unless two stubborn women decide to keep the wrong promises.

It isn't really a character-driven novel - the characters are pleasant, but not overly developed. Our heroines Libby and Quinn are somewhat two-dimensional - they're stand-in's for you or anyone you know. You won't fall in love with them, but it's easy to put imagine yourself in their shoes if you should so choose.

It isn't a plot-driven novel either. Libby Jackson, a New York Ad Woman, travels up to Turtle Cove in New Hampshire after receiving a generous inheritance from a man she's never heard of before. There, she meets Quinn, a sexy loner with a shadowy past. They meet, and, as one does in a romance novel, fall in love.

Beyond that however, not much happens. Questions are asked and questions are answered. The stakes are low and the tension nonexistent - it's difficult for the reader to feel that any road is the wrong one for these characters - they'd be just as happy with each other as without each other. They could stay or go, and in the long run, be just fine wherever they ended up.

That said, October's Promise is an escape. A quick, simple, easy-to-read escape into a languid, low-stakes world surging with the colors of the New England Autumn. Nothing in this story is going to keep you up at night turning the pages to see what happens next, but perhaps that's the point. Garver's writing is smooth and relaxing, good for a nice half-hour respite from a stressful day. In my experience, it pairs well with a glass of Pinot Grigio and a small plate of cheese and Triscuits.

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