care-less characters

The movie Always seemed to be a good compromise to watch as Ed’s interest is in aviation sequences and I love a romance. The ghost story could be a plus, or so we thought. John Goodman made this movie worthwhile, the rest of it was good photography.  Richard Dreyfuss and Holly Hunter are great actors and portrayed these quirky characters with skill and passion.

I knew from the blurb their romance was doomed but even death hanging over the love story wasn’t enough for me to care about them. The romantic hero was instantly recognizable and hardly on screen enough to like, and the final trauma was give-me-a-break melodramatic. But I liked John Goodman and his portrayal of the character Al, who was in most scenes and the only character who took action and made decisions. He made the story.

Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts was my chosen vacation read. It’s book #2 of a quartet of wedding stories. I believe they were written during the time Ms. Roberts was totally involved in being mother of the bride (or groom). It was written “For girlfriends” and both the cover and internal flaps are a nice presentation as are the weddings described in the pages. I do not like offset pages that make the edge of the book look like a sloppy paperback, and this was one more book of Nora’s that I wish had been edited into a novella.

The reason I couldn’t care about Emma or Jack’s romance is because they are too nice and become more clueless at the end. Neither will survive a real life conflict or challenge. I did read the whole book because the descriptions were beautiful and some of the other characters were cute. I also wanted to see if the final conflict was going to be as lame as I expected. It was worse.

I’m trying to care about the characters in the novel I’m currently reading except the heroine is a former art thief and the hero an expat billionaire so I’m not relating to their lifestyle or attitudes. The appearance of a “dead” father and now a theft and potential intrigue probably won’t elevate this story to one I’ll care to finish.

Fortunately, I’ll have dinner with my sister tomorrow in honor of our dad’s birthday last week and she’ll give me a book to read that she enjoyed: Paty Jager’s Gambling On An Angel. It’s a historical and I’m trying to stick with contemporary novels right now but I’ll probably read it this weekend because I want to care about some characters. 😀

About Terri Patrick
Writer of Romance and Memoir. Life is an adventure, take that journey.

4 Responses to care-less characters

  1. roxie says:

    You just made me aware that one of the reasons I follow chatty blogs is because I care about the characters. I think the author needs to love her characters and suffer when they suffer, or the reader won’t give a rip.

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  2. Trish says:

    If you don’t love your characters, no one else will, either. I don’t understand why Nora writes so many books. It’s not about $ for her. It’s about love of writing, certainly, but some of her books are so far superior to others that the puzzle intensifies. What drives Nora/? That in itself might make a novel i would certainly read.

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  3. terripatrick says:

    I have Nora’s “Three Sisters Island” trilogy on my keeper shelf but have only read a dozen of her older romances. My theory is some books she writes for the story and a love of the characters but others she’s writing for her rabid readers that span the globe.

    What I found to be a nice book with boring characters many Nora fans in other countries will adore for all the flowers and frills, and maybe it will inspire dreams of happy families and wonderful weddings where day-to-day reality is tough.

    In the movie “America’s Sweethearts” (stellar cast with Billy Crystal and Julia Roberts) the character played by Catherine Zeta-Jones is attacked by critics for the flop of her latest movie, because it didn’t include John Cuzack, but she’s surprised because that flopped movie was “huge overseas.” That line stood out to me because it clarifies that the appeal for a book or movie is not limited to a geographic area or culture.

    The movie “Always” was released in 1989 and grossed 74 M worldwide and almost 12,000 viewers have rated it on Amazon. Nora’s 2009 “Bed of Roses” probably had a global print run of half a million or more because readers will buy Nora because they trust the story is worth the cash. For me, I got the book and the movie at the library and will return them next week.

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  4. I’m not sure we have to love all of the characters in a book (even as an author) but we do have to connect with them strongly, but not necessarily in a good way. Oh, and for me they have to be believable even if Sci-Fi or a similar theme.

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