Thursday, April 1, 2010

Winter's Edge

Molly Winters wakes up one day in hospital with total amnesia. She doesn't know who she is, where she is, or why she's there. She is informed that she was in a car accident, and has been waking up with varying degrees of amnesia. A man who had been strangled to death was found in the car with her, along with $350,000. The police don't believe she killed the man, but they do believe that she is involved in his murder. Apparently she has been refusing to tell the police anything, so no one believes her convenient (and late onset) amnesia. To top it all off, she is married to an older man who hates her, and can't be bothered to pick her up from the hospital to take her home.

I really enjoyed this book until the end when everything is resolved. The resolution was sloppy and unsatisfying, leaving many points unanswered.

  1. The police are useless. Molly was hit on the back of her head and had a concussion. Surely it would have occurred to someone that she may have been knocked out prior to being placed in the car. I expect it is highly unusual for the driver to be hit on the back of the head in a car crash.
  2. Throughout the book, people keep commenting on how improbable Molly's amnesia is. "That only happens in romance novels, not real life," seems to be a common response. It's as if the author thinks that if you acknowledge how trite and clichéd the whole amnesia plot device is, no one will notice. I believe it's called "hanging a lantern on it".
  3. Molly has no friends. She has lived in there for 7 years, and has absolutely no friends. Patrick (her husband) tells her nobody likes her because of the way she treats him (the implication being that every body likes him). I find this hard to believe when we discover that she's lived there since she was 16. So she had no friends in school? Romance novels do tend to isolate the heroine, and I suppose this books already has a lot of characters without the added complication of giving Molly friends, but it's fairly unbelievable.
  4. Lisa Canning is the Evil Other Woman, yet another romance genre cliché. The woman who pretends to be the heroine's friend whilst secretly plotting to steal her man. She invariably does this by giving the heroine bad dress advice. The question of course, is why does Molly follow her advice? We find out that Lisa taunted Molly about her affair with Patrick on their wedding day, thus setting in motion the ruin of their marriage before it even started. It's obvious that Lisa is no friend, so why does Molly take her advice on fashion and home redecorating? Maybe those things were done prior to her wedding day, but it doesn't really sound like they were. Molly and Patrick got married soon after she came into her money, so there wouldn't have been time for her to redecorate her room and purchase a new wardrobe prior to marriage.
  5. Patrick admits that he has indeed "given in to temptation" with Lisa Canning several times. Yet he obviously has no problem with keeping her around and making Molly eat and shop with her. He has no problem with the fact that everyone assumes he is going to marry her as soon as he is divorced from Molly. Does he do this just to get back at Molly for her supposed infidelities? We will never know, because it's never addressed.
  6. Finally, we come to the crux of the matter. The wedding night. Why does Patrick not go to Molly? She never asks, and we never find out. This whole issue is just never resolved at all, and really is the cause of their marital problems. His continued rejection made Molly pretend to have a slew of lovers (when in true romance genre fashion she was a virgin - yet another cliché!). Well, what did he think was going to happen when he never even kissed her, but kept his sometime lover hanging around?
Oh, and I haven't even brought up the whole mystery whodunnit part. The less said about that the better.

As I said earlier, I did start out enjoying this book. It certainly had potential, and I generally like Anne Stuart's writing. The loose ends just ruined it for me, and the fact the Patrick is just not much of a hero.

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