#67 Crapometer

Mainstream Novel

Fault Lines

Life’s changes – even a tragedy that splits the solid bedrock of a family’s foundation – can propel those affected in new, rewarding directions. Three adult siblings - JOANNA, OLIVIA, and JASON STONER – learn this when their mother dies suddenly, releasing them from old accustomed roles and inspiring them to make new lives for themselves. Each finds that life’s adversity can stimulate growth.

Joanna, the perfect wife, mother, and economics professor, can’t remember when the magic drained out of her marriage. Kicking her principles out the door of Woodward Hall, she pursues a forbidden romance with a brilliant black graduate student. She soon finds herself on her own with two college-age daughters, wracked with guilt over destroying her marriage. But she musters her courage and wins a grant to travel abroad to study the economy of China, something she has always dreamed about.

they fire your ass for sleeping with students these days. particularly if they file sexual harrassment charges against you

Jason, a heavy-drinking contractor who discards beautiful women like empty beer bottles, injures himself in a bar brawl. In the hospital he becomes intrigued with a chubby nurse who falls miles short of his normal physical prerequisites. The nurse helps him conquer a lingering guilt over his mother’s death. When he attracts legal trouble, she again trusts in his good character. Horrified, he finds himself in love for the first time – with a girl who turns hearts, not heads. Letting go of his macho persona, he trades glamour for contentment.

cause of course if she's chubby, a hard drinking bar room brawler is just what she wants.

Olivia, the rock’n’roller, dyes her spiked hair turquoise, writes haunting music, and performs in Albuquerque’s bars and nightclubs. Feeling like the black sheep of the family, she takes in first a homeless cat, then a homeless girl. Glimpsing her younger self in the girl, she persists in trying to rescue her – even after the seventeen-year-old is busted for theft and prostitution. Then, diagnosed with lung cancer, Olivia fights an even larger battle. She shaves her head bald, dares the world to criticize, and creates music that keeps her memory alive after her death.

the days of anyone being shocked by a woman shaving her head are pretty much over, don't you think?

Fault Lines, set in Albuquerque, New Mexico, probes the sudden coming-of-age that accompanies the death of a parent. Beneath the guilt and sorrow felt by each sibling, new possibilities reveal themselves. Without Mom there to push them in the right direction, the three take their futures into their own hands – with some surprising results. They discover new strengths while reaffirming the bonds of family, commitment, and love. Together, they emerge onto solid ground.

this is a very crisp synopsis of a book you couldn’t pay me to read. It might be just me but the idea redemption/change is precipitated by who you sleep with (the first two examples) or illness is so over used that I just can’t imagine anything new to say about it.

On the other hand, you couldn’t pay me to read Nicholas Sparks or Bridges of Madison County, so this could be destined to make a mint.


Karen Dionne said...

Sixty-seven synopses critiques in a week? Holy cow. I'd like to say something original here about Miss Snark being a saint (or a glutton for punishment), but the mind boggles.


Anonymous said...

Amen on Sparks!

The drek - sheer drek - Nicholas Sparks somehow gets published is a crime against humanity.

Okay, well, maybe that's a bit dramatic but I simply cannot understand why his books are popular.

Awful stuff!!


Anonymous said...

Because he's a guy writing chick stories! It's working for Tony Parsons too, though neither one of them have anything new to say.

The Green Cedar said...

Throw in The Horse Whisperer and I'm there. Couldn't manage that one, either...

BorderMoon said...

Gretchen, I tried The Horse Whisperer, and lost all patience with it in chapter one, when this idiot girl takes her horse out just after an ice storm, for Dog's Sweet Sake!! She deserved everything she got, but the horse not only didn't deserve to get hit by a truck, but didn't thereafter act like any horse I'VE ever known. "Oh, the trauma; I must Act Out so that the hunkalicious hero can Cure Me!"...that's not a horse, okay? It's a godamn PD (Plot Device). You'd think the animal knew its savior wouuld be played by Robert Redford in the movie (in which case I'd act out too, if it would get Redford to -- well, never mine.)

Anonymous said...

Miss Snark, you earned a fan by your comment: "On the other hand, you couldn’t pay me to read Nicholas Sparks or Bridges of Madison County, so this could be destined to make a mint." The Bridges of Madison County was one of the worst written books I've ever read. I wanted to find out what all the hoopla was about - and was shocked by the crappy writing. The author was lucky enough to get an agent or publisher eager to PUSH that piece of garbage to the weepy-eyed, tragedy-loving matrons suffering through dull marriages, I guess. I can only guess.

Anonymous said...

Cynthia writes:

I didn't think I could admire you any more than I do already, Miss Snark, and here you go, impressing me again.

I did struggle through the B of MC (bleh ... Nat'l Geo hires the h after seeing his CALENDAR shots? And a WWII era Italian-immigrant VEGETARIAN? Right. I believe that.)

I also wanted to see what Nick Sparks got a million smackeroos for ... but the passive voice and the fact that he had his Hero spouting off such touchy-feely stuff turned the book into a wall-banger before I got through chapter two. I'm impressed with Theresa Park, though, if she could GET a million for such stuff ...