A Week from Sunday
I requested this Dorothy Garlock because, though I knew she’d been around for ages, I’d never read a book by her before. When I told my mom during a phone call that I was reading Dorothy Garlock, she said “Oh, I used to really like her.” Those two facts should have alerted me to the fact that Garlock might be somewhat old fashioned, but I was still surprised when I started the story. Though I admit freely that this novel isn’t one that would appeal to me on my own reading time, there are problems that go deeper than a mere reading mismatch, which ultimately lead to the grade I chose.
A Week from Sunday is set in Louisiana in the mid-1930s. The heroine, Adrianna, is the only daughter of a wealthy banker. Since he contracted polio, her father has relied more and more heavily on his rather odious lawyer, Richard Pope. After his death, Adrianna is distressed to discover that her father left everything to Pope. Pope appears in front of Adrianna on the day of the funeral and informs her that they will be wed a week from Sunday.
Adrianna is appalled and, though she has no skills apart from her ability to play the piano, no way to make money, and no real plan, she takes her father’s car and flees Shreveport with the vague idea of reaching her aunt in Mississippi. Outside the small town of Lee’s Point, however, rain causes her to lose control of her car and slide into oncoming traffic in the shape of Quinn Baxter.
Quinn is holding on by a thread, and he loses a whole load of liquor destined for his bar, the Whipsaw, when a woman crashes her car into his on a night in which she had no right being out. The accident also causes a serious hand injury in Quinn’s piano player.
See where this is going?
A couple of pages later, Adrianna is paying off her debt by agreeing to play piano in Quinn’s bar during sing-along nights, and she’s moving into his house to look after his injured brother Jesse.
I just couldn’t get into this story. Adrianna was near perfect – well-mannered, quiet, beautiful. Everyone loves her the first time they meet her; she inspires protective instincts in everyone around her. Quinn is bad tempered and gruff. He scares Adrianna and insists, inexplicably, on calling her Annie. The villains of the piece are cardboard cut outs, with flimsy motives. There is no depth to any of the players, which makes it hard to care about the HEA.
Finally, there’s one scene at the end where Adrianna is meant to be showing her gumption, which startled and appalled me. I can’t really go any further without spoilers, but I had to make mention of it. Though I was shocked, it was also the only time that Adrianna showed any interesting characteristics, so I’m torn as to whether to put it in the positive or negative category.
I can’t recommend A Week from Sunday as one guaranteed to hold interest, though I know Garlock is a perennial favorite for many. Sorry, Mom!