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Diana Lively is Falling Down by Sheila Curran

>> Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Genre: Fiction
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 227
Challenges: TBR 2008 #11

The plot is just too convoluted to try to summarize myself, so I’ll take the easy way out and quote the publisher’s synopsis.

From the publisher:

Like the legendary London Bridge, Diana Lively has been transplanted from England to the Arizona desert.

Trained as an architect and top in her class, she makes dollhouses. Widowed at a young age, she distrusted people who were kind to her, and married Ted, the one man who wasn't. Maybe it's a good thing that Diana Lively's life is suddenly out of her control.

A brash American billionaire wants to put up a King Arthur Theme Park smack in the middle of the Arizona desert. With dollar signs dancing in its head, Oxford University is only too happy to send Ted Lively, their resident Arthurian expert, to consult on the project. There, in the most unlikely place, in the most surprising ways, Diana is about to discover that the happiness she thought was lost forever can shower down on her again, can flood her dry life like a lake in the desert, and make it bloom.

Oh, and Ted. Ted is about to discover that there is justice in the world...

At first I thought the reason that this book took longer than normal to read was because I’ve been so darn busy the past couple of weeks, but I really think that’s only partly the reason. Although I enjoyed parts of this book and some of the characters, there were other parts that just were too farfetched and didn’t work for me. All in all, I think my biggest issue was why, oh why, would the smart, compassionate Diana still be with AwfulTed. So what if they had kids. He’s horrible and mean to both Diana and the kids. I could almost believe it if he was only mean to Diana, but a mother who would put up with the character of Ted and the way he treated her children was just not believable, even in a book that you know going in will ultimately have a happy ending.

The plot is more complicated than the publishers summary indicates. It’s a very quirky book – part fantasy, part romance, part revenge, part environmentalist, part mystical, part comedy, way too much coincidence.

That all sounds like I really hated the book, but I didn’t. I was enjoyable as a bit of escapism in the midst of the very busy couple of weeks. There was no doubt that the ending would not be a downer, so the ride was enjoyable enough after I accepted the need to suspend some disbelief.


Bookfool 9/09/2008 7:00 AM  

Far-fetched escapism can be good; I guess it's just a timing issue, at least for me. The cover is cute! I do have trouble reading about women staying with jerks, though, and it sounds like that aspect makes the reading uncomfortable, yes?

SuziQoregon 9/11/2008 10:19 AM  

Bookfool: there were some cute and fun moments, but I just had a tough time believing that she'd still be with her husband. Uncomfortable is a good word.

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