Monday, June 13, 2011

A Turn in the Road by Debbie Macomber

I have always wanted to do a meandering and completely spontaneous road trip, visiting quirky and out-of-the-maintstream places.  This road trip, undertaken by three generations of women, sounded like a lot of fun.  I would have done it!
Bethanne has managed to do well in the six years since her husband Grant left her for a younger woman.  At first she was traumitized but, with the help of her knitting friends, she got back on her feet and established a thriving business.  She has been the rock in her children's lives just as she was in Grant's while they were married.  She has also grown tremendously since the divorce, gaining in the confidence she was somewhat lacking while married.  Grant, however, has been through his second divorce and wants to reunite with Bethanne.  He has floundered both personally and professionally and belatedly realizes just how much he relied on Bethanne.  Bethanne is unsure about ever trusting Grant again but feels pressured to give him a chance. 
The other members of the trio are Grant's mother Ruth who has hopes of seeing her high school sweetheart at her 50th reunion (the reason for the cross-country trip) and Bethanne's daughter Annie who feels betrayed by her boyfriend when he plans a year-long trip to Europe without telling her about it until the last minute. 
Bethanne, in addition to considering Grant's proposal to begin dating again, meets someone new on the road which further complicates things.  Each of the women has relationships and decisions to ponder.  Through their adventures on the road, they learn more about themselves and each other, regret some of their past decisions, and find clarity to make new ones.
Although some reviewers were irritated by Bethanne's indecision, I found it to be a true-to-life portrayal of what it can be like to make such a momentous choice, especially one that is so connected to strong emotions.  Bethanne is feeling pulled one way by the wishes of her family and her sense of obligation to Grant (and is swayed by his manipulating, controlling personality) and another way by the exciting, new feelings that Max brings out in her.  Her wishy-washy behavior is indicative of just how difficult this choice is for her.

Things I didn't like:  Annie's immaturity and whining, I wanted to smack her!  I thought that the whole prom reenactment was cheesy.  Grant was pretty irritating too.

Things I liked:  The ending!  I liked Rooster, Max's friend and I liked the way we learned about Max and his life.   I liked that Bethanne let go of some of her rigid self-control and just enjoyed the experience.  Guess I'm a bit jealous of that...And I liked that it, as all Debbie Macomber's books are, was a very clean read!
Rated PG for a few minor swear words and some adult situations.

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