With a viewpoint that shifts as crisply as cards in the hands of a blackjack dealer, Carol Shields introduces us to two shell-shocked veterans of the wars of the heart.
There's Fay, a folklorist whose passion for mermaids has kept her from focusing on any one man. And right across the street there's Tom, a popular radio talk-show host who has focused a little too intently, having married and divorced three times.
Can Fay believe in lasting love with such a man? Will romantic love conquer all rational expectations? Only Carol Shields could describe so adroitly this couple who fall in love as thoroughly and satisfyingly as any Victorian couple and the modern complications that beset them in this touching and ironic book.
The Republic of Love by Carol Shields
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I was invited to read a free copy of this book, in exchange for a review, via NetGalley. I've read Shields before and wasn't overly fond of The Stone Diaries. This book confirmed what I previously thought.
The prose is wonderfully written and I enjoy how Shields delivers details. What I don't like is the plot. The first 150-pages, nothing more than character development, bored me senseless and, if I hadn't been asked for a review, I would've given up. The two love interests finally meet on page 167. Then, just as the story begins, the book ends.
Ironically, the best review for this book is a quote lifted from the book itself: "Just a love story, people say about a book they happen to be reading, to be caught reading."
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