Monday, May 23, 2011

A Turn in the Road (Blossom Street # 8) Review of Audio book


In the middle of the year, in the middle of her life, Bethanne Hamlin takes a road trip with her daughter, Annie, and her former mother-in-law, Ruth.
They’re driving to Florida for Ruth’s 50th high-school reunion. A longtime widow, Ruth would like to reconnect with Royce, the love of her teenage life. She’s heard he’s alone, too...and, well, she’s curious. Maybe even hopeful.
Bethanne herself needs time to reflect, to ponder a decision she has to make. Her ex-husband, Grant — her children’s father — wants to reconcile now that his second marriage has failed. Bethanne’s considering it....
Meanwhile, Annie’s out to prove to her onetime boyfriend that she can live a brilliant life without him!
So there they are, three women driving across America. They have their maps and their directions — but even the best-planned journey can take you to a turn in the road. Or lead you to an unexpected encounter — like the day Bethanne meets a man named Max who really is a hero on a Harley. That’s when Bethanne’s decision becomes a lot harder. Because Grant wants her back, but now there’s Max....
From Seattle’s Blossom Street to the other end of the country, this is a trip that could change three women’s lives. ( Synopsis from Barnes & )

Read by Joyce Bean, 10 hours on 9 CD's

It is always satisfying to read or listen to a Debbie Macomber book. When you finish, you feel positive about life and people's ability to rise above their difficulties. In this book, the main character, Bethanne, has to decide if she will forgive her cheating ex-husband and take him back.  She has gone on with her life, become a successful business woman, and has a big choice to make. She needs to consider if the 20+ good years are enough to balance out the 6 bad ones. This is a common theme with women whose husbands cheat- would it be better for their family or children, do they still love their spouse, are there financial considerations? Bethanne's daughter Annie, desperately wants her parents to reconcile, again, a common issue even with adult children of divorce. Ruth, the mother-in-law, is in the middle as she loves her son and wants him to be happy but feels the same way about Bethanne.

I think Ms. Macomber did an excellent job of exploring all of the confusion a woman in Bethanne's place would have and also the feelings of Annie and Ruth were authentically portrayed. My only caveat- Annie was over the obnoxious line and I would have liked to see Bethanne put her in her place a little more forcefully ( especially since Annie was going through a similar issue with her boyfriend)!

Max was an interesting character, who was the proverbial fly in the ointment for Annie, Ruth, and Grant (the cheater) and their plans for reuniting the family. Max has had personal trauma in his life and took the opposite track from Bethanne- dropping out and becoming a biker. He was portrayed in a multi-dimensional way that made his character believable. He had tough decisions to make as well. Bethanne's choice is not obvious until the very end of the book which impressed me. She really goes back and forth over her decision.

Joyce Bean does an excellent job of narrating the story.  She made it come alive and all of the characters were fully fleshed verbally. Very enjoyable!

Library note: The Turn in the Road is available at RPL in regular and large print in the new fiction section. The audio CD is in the Books on CD stacks.

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