In David, Renewed, Diana Copland has delivered a classic, well-crafted romance in which not only the main characters are appealing, but the supporting crew are wonderful as well. David Snyder is a rising star in a corporate decorating firm. Having walked out of a five-year relationship with good reason, he impulsively buys himself a craftsman-style bungalow near his mother’s house, only to find that it is riddled with problems he didn’t see at first. In desperation, he turns to the son of one of his mother’s garden club friends, Jackson Henry, to help save the situation. Jackson turns out to be the same sort of very beautiful man that David’s former partner was. As it turns out, however, Jackson is completely different from David’s ex in every other way. As the house begins to take shape, David begins to understand just how much of himself he had sacrificed up until now.
This is a book where the main characters’ friends are important – crucial – to the story. Both David’s and Jackson’s families are important, too. It is our relationships with others that shape us as we grow, and both David and Jackson embody that truth. What I particularly like about the way Copland handles her varied players is the nuance she gives them. There are no flat stereotypes. Although there are some folks who act stereotypically, we learn more than the surface. We see motivation and personality behind the people, and thus we can appreciate the complicated underpinnings of human behavior.
Copland is a good writer, and I cannot overemphasize how important that is. The best story will be ruined by bad writing, but her prose is a pleasure to read. Her handling of dialogue is clever and believable, and she is careful with detail, both social and physical. Although it is not stated explicitly, there does seem to be an opening for another book following this one. I hope I’m right. Copland’s an author to keep an eye out for.