Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Review: The Magic of Ordinary Days by Ann Howard Creel

Synopsis: Olivia Dunne, a studious minister's daughter who dreams of becoming an archaeologist, never thought that the drama of World War II would affect her quiet life in Denver. But when an exhilarating flirtation reshapes her life, she finds herself in a rural Colorado outpost, married to a man she hardly knows. Overwhelmed by loneliness, Olivia tentatively tries to establish a new life, finding muchneeded friendship and solace in two Japanese American sisters who are living at a nearby internment camp. When Olivia unwittingly becomes an accomplice to a crime and is faced with betrayal, she finally confronts her own yearnings and comes to understand what she truly believes about the nature of trust and love. (from the back of the book)

Review: I stumbled upon the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie of this book and was smitten with the story. The movie, as it turns out, deviates from the book, most noticeably in the ending. The book's ending is not pretty and happy, as the movie. And, while I enjoyed the happy ending of the movie, the book's ending means more. With depth and complexity, Creel tells a story of loneliness, redemption, betrayal, and what makes a heart and home.
Her prose is surprisingly descriptive, but without being flowery - somewhat like the desolate beauty Olivia finds in the country. With deft language, Creel sets us in rural America during WWII, and shows us what it was like to be behind the scenes, to farm, to live, to work, to exist, when all the world was focus so far away.
Watching Olivia change into who she didn’t know she wanted to be, was magnificent. I enjoyed the subtle growth in her character. Told in first person, Creel really lets us see the turmoil inside this girl. As for the secondary characters, each was complex, distinct, and well-written.
There is a bite to this romance that comes from the true-to-life mistakes and frailness of the human condition. I highly recommend this work. It was a fantastic read.
Bookmarks: 8 of 10

Awards: None

ISBN: 0-14-200090-6
Year Published: 2001
Date Finished: 6-30-2016 
Pages: 274

No comments:

Post a Comment