Pearl Beyond Price
This read began with a bang and ended with a whimper. I spent chapter after chapter on a down slope waiting for love to really happen and not just be talked and dreamed to death. Once the end was in sight, the last misunderstanding was quickly solved for our hero and heroine, but I was still shaking my head.
After having been introduced to her boyfriend’s wife, Alex runs off in tears, necks with a hot stranger in a cloakroom, and walks off with his shirt. My reaction was “Wow! But it will be difficult to follow such a beginning.”
The hot stranger proves to be Gray Edmonds, journalist and half-Bedouin. When Alex visits her sister in Kuwait, their paths cross again, and the emotions they both feel is fated to begin to flare up. Star-crossed lovers must be faced with difficulties, and what could be more difficult than surviving the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait, complete with all the gory details of the practices of a villainous occupation force? As Westerners, Alex, her sister and their fellow ex-patriots are sitting ducks, and only Gray, with the help of his Bedouin uncle, can help them escape.
There is nothing wrong with the outline of the plot. My problem with this read, which kept it from staying wonderful, was that Alex and Gray decided very early on, separately, that the other one was the love of their life. This may work for other readers, but I must be tone-deaf to this particular love song. If they had dreamed a little less, and interacted emotionally a bit more, it might have made a difference.
As a whole, Pearl Beyond Price is an average book. There were great parts, and not so great parts that might look worse than they really were, since they ganged up on the reader. Overlooking my problems with the plot and a slight tendency to author intrusions, I liked Ms. Westoby’s writing style a great deal. Although I’m not likely to ever reread Pearl Beyond Price, I will keep an eye out for other titles by the same author.