Monday, July 15, 2013

Book 70: The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope

The reviews for this novel seemed a bit mixed on Goodreads but the first few pages of this novel sucked me in, so I ended up reading this one despite some misgivings.  The novel is set in the country side of North Carolina shortly after WWII.  After her aunt dies, Evelyn takes over the family farm while her parents remain in town.  Evelyn enjoys the freedom this gives her as a young woman at this time, and her life changes when she comes across what she at first thinks is a burn victim on the property.  However, after getting the being home, she realizes this isn't the case as it heals much too quickly, and slowly begins to look like her.  While Evelyn can never explain what or where Addie comes from to herself, she feels protective of her and invents a story to explain her presence on the farm.
The two women forge a life for themselves on the farm, and become lovers, but Evelyn longs for a traditional life, and children, and as a result Addie finds a solution eventually, becoming Adam, and marrying Evelyn.  Evelyn enjoys her life, though she feels bad about the lies she tells her family and friends, and occasionally worries about what would happen if Adam were discovered until finally an event leads to Adam exposing himself as abnormal within the community.
I had very mixed thoughts on this novel.  It started out incredibly interesting, and as I stated above the writing style sucked me in from the beginning.  However, I had a hard time with Evelyn and Addie/Adam's love story because Evelyn basically immediately fell for her with absolutely no questions about her origins.  I actually liked that the book didn't try to explain Addie/Adam but I still wouldn't have expected Evelyn to sleep with this creature within a week of discovering her.  I also got irritated with Adam.  We only see him through Evelyn's view but he is too perfect.  I don't feel like he has much of a personality or that Evelyn truly got to know him.  I also got kind of irritated with all the sex scenes.  They weren't graphic, but it seemed like all the two of them were ever doing was having sex.  I would much rather have one or two well-written graphic sex scenes than comments along the lines of and then we had sex on every page.  I understand the characters are a couple/married, and I'm going to assume they are having sex; no need to constantly reiterate that they are basically fucking like rabbits.  I also thought the humming noise that Adam makes was just weird, and it really didn't work for me within the context of the story, annoying me more than anything.
I ended up giving this novel 3 stars on Goodreads but on further reflection, I don't think it should be more than 2.  It did get a bit more interesting in the last part when the family moves to Florida but I have given other books that I enjoyed more than this one rankings of 2 stars because I was disappointed with how they handled things.  This book was certainly not better than they were.  When it comes down to it, I liked the writing, I liked the concept and even some of the parts of the plot but I disliked the execution.

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