Friday, January 4, 2008

First Impressions

First Impressions This is a little series that details my experiences reading books for an hour a day in the library. I read the book either until I became disinterested in it or until I finished it.
Though Love’s Trials by Julie Coulter Bellon
This book passed the hour experiment twice, so the first time I read it I like it enough to pick it up a second time. The story starts with a prologue, which introduces Emma, who wants to have a baby badly and is excited to find out that she is pregnant. She worries a little bit about telling her husband, Paul, because he has expressed no interest in having children and instead wants to save up for a yacht and a bunch of worldly things. She tells him about the pregnancy when he comes home for their anniversary. Paul is angry and tells her that she should get an abortion and she has to choose between the baby and him. The first chapter starts with the Paul in the midst of running a successful law business and Emma apparently has divorced him and moved to Utah and became a member of the LDS church. Then he offers a partnership to a younger member of the law firm, Kenneth King. Paul hands over some files for the Kenneth to deliver to his ex-wife in Salt Lake. Then suddenly Paul is found dead in his office, and Kenneth finds himself in some sticky situations and realizes that people are after the files that his now dead employer handed off to him.
Thus starts the plot of this book. Why didn’t I read more, when the plot arch sounds promising and exciting? I was too interested in the conflict that the prologue brought up. I really wanted to see the couple work things out or at least watch things fall apart. I was way too interested in Paul’s character. I wanted to understand his motivations and wanted to see him have some depth. I really wanted to see his love for his wife battle with his selfishness, but that whole conflict was cut off and ended by the time I got to the first chapter. That just left me annoyed with Paul because he ended up being a shallow cardboard cutout, and an over the top cliché. Then there is the fact that the chances for seeing his character develop more died with the fact that he was murdered in his office. Then Kenneth who took over just really didn’t interest me. He had a dubious and interesting background story over a dead fiancée, but the conflict just didn’t interest me anymore. Then there was the fact that it took him forever to make the connection between the files and the death and so the suspense was slower pace than I wanted. To add on top of these things the prose writing didn’t impress me spectacularly. So, I decided to move on to something that I knew I would like more and didn’t have to wade through pages to enjoy the story.
Julie Bellon writes a blog at Six LDS Writer and a Frog blog.
Here is her website:

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