Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sweet Memories by LaVyrle Spencer ***

At last I found the one book by LaVyrle Spencer I hadn't read, hardcover, used and cheap at Hastings! So my Spencer journey is at an end, because she is retired and no longer writing.

Ya know, if I had started with her earlier books, I might not have done a glom and read everything she'd written, because I found some of her works stunningly wonderful, and others truly mediocre. I'm not sure if it was growth as a writer, or inspiration (as in, better stories). Morning Glory (1989) is one of my all-time favorites, as well as That Camden Summer (1996). And I haven't rated any of them less than 3 stars, although this one might be more in the 2.75 range for me.

Sweet Memories was published in 1984, and it smacks of some of her other earlier books in that it's truly dated and maybe in the future will be considered historically accurate, while today just seems, well, dated.

It's a sweet enough story - a young woman who is well-endowed is embarrased by the attention she receives from men. She still lives at home, and tries to hide her chest from everyone behind bulky clothes and a shy personality. Her younger brother comes home for Christmas with a buddy. The buddy has been "warned" about her problem with men, and spends the holidays slowly wooing her and trying to help her regain her self confidence.

I guess it was an ok story although there were some odd phrases in it that I couldn't follow - I wasn't sure if they were the result of poor editing or local jargon or what. I didn't make note of them, even the one that had me going back and forth between one page and the next since the sentence at the bottom of one page didn't seem to be related to the end of the sentence at the top of the very next page... And I found myself rolling my eyes every now and then at things the characters said and thought - that reaction isn't exactly what I expect from reading a good book.

So - I can now say I've read every LaVyrle Spencer, and that I will continue to re-read my favorites. The rest of them will be listed for trade at PBS so someone else can fulfill their desire to read all her books... 3 stars.

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