It’s a pleasure to read certain books. There have been times when I didn’t want to sleep, eat, or go to work since I simply had to finish a wonderful book. Then there are books like All-American Father, which was a chore to read. Much as I wanted to zip right through it, I couldn’t since it was painful to read it for too long a stretch.
Bailey Greenwood was an academic star in high school. She had perfect grades, won a bunch of scholarships and was all set to go to Yale, so why is she a clerk in a ratty convenience store? Well years ago, Bailey’s grandfather turned the family home into a bed and breakfast and Bailey and her father and grandmother ran it all during her childhood (Bailey’s mother died when she was young). When her father suddenly died of a heart attack right after she graduated high school, Bailey put her life on hold and began working to save the family home. Business at the B&B hasn’t been all that good, so Bailey has been working several part time jobs to keep the wolf from the door and the tax man from foreclosing.
Derrick Cavenaugh was the star football player in high school. He played for a time in the NFL, married a hot cheerleader, and fathered two children. Life was good, until Derrick was injured. He went back to school, became a lawyer, and immersed himself in work. Feeling neglected, his wife left him for another man and since she is having too much fun with new hubby, she hasn’t had any time for the children. Rather than telling them that their mother doesn’t want them anymore, Derrick moved the family from Atlanta to San Francisco and immersed himself in work again. When Derrick’s daughter Leslie is caught shoplifting in the convenience store where Bailey works, Derrick asks for Leslie to be allowed to work off the value of the goods she shoplifted. The owner agrees as long as Bailey supervises her, which throws Derrick and Bailey into close contact with predictable results.
If I wanted to read a young adult novel, I’d browse in that section in my library. Chances are the characters in it would act with more maturity than Bailey and Derrick. They both have serious communication problems and spend a lot of time in mental lusting. I had to remind myself repeatedly that they were adults. The novel is written in such a fast paced style with characters zipping in and out all the time, that before I could ask “and you are…?”, they’d be gone. Periodically the action stops dead so the author can give us an info dump. Then, I’d find out who the characters were who had just zipped by – not that I can say I was at all interested.
Bailey and Derrick were childish, Leslie was a caricature of a bad kid who inwardly is really a good girl, and Derrick’s ex-wife was a cartoon. The rest of the secondary characters might show up in another book (this is part of a series) but I have no interest in meeting them again.
I’m about to start a new book as soon as I finish this review. I read All-American Father in the new larger print size which I liked very much. But I’d rather have had an enjoyable read. Maybe the next book will be that.