I often don’t have a whole lot of patience to write on my blog, and I never reviewed Redeeming Love, which I just finished. To put it simply, I didn’t find it the best writing, but I found something great about it and the story. It’s one of my top faves now, with Pride and Prejudice and Outlander, probably.
As I usually do when I discover a new love, I Googled it. I happened on a nice, civil, polite discussion of the book. I simply can’t agree with lots that was being said, which is really par for the course, I guess, in these type of internet matters. So I put down a comment, pretty much off the cuff and I am pretty happy with it. Here’s the link and the comment.
I just finished this book and loved it. That doesn’t mean I think it was great writing. Just take things for what they are, I’d say, and stop bemoaning and worrying about ‘corny’ language and ‘purple prose.’ Who cares? It seems like everyone wants any one book to be all things to them, but that simply isn’t possible. I think people need to get over their fear of corniness and the feeling of intimidation they obviously feel when they aren’t reading ‘literature.’ There’s room for all sorts of books.
Frankly, there was a simplicity in the writing of this book that made it exceedingly readable. The short sentences work in those graphs you cite because they are apropos to the seething the girl feels in one scene (exactly how often do you spew streams multi-clause sentences when you’re livid- unless you’re on Designing Women?). Staccato and repetitive was appropriate at that point. And it seemed like normal thought in both graphs. As far as pronouns are concerned, the big mistake would have been if Rivers felt she needed to use proper nouns all the time.
I agree there was overwrought language here, but instead of comparing this book with conventional ideals of ‘good writing’, I choose to see it as its own beauty. In the same way a person needn’t be conventional to be beautiful, neither does a book, and it’s silly for any reader or writer – me included – to assign those standards when judging. To me, it smacks of discomfort with natural, unguarded relaxed language – the true kind that people can relate too when they don’t let their inner editor sneer at them like the meanies in the in-group during high school).
Just let it roll and appreciate it for what it is, and that’s a beautiful story that – as my mum so rightly said is like a “gentle wave”. Let’s just get over our precious selves.