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Friday, May 7, 2010

Pacific Hope by Bette Nordberg

The twenty-six year marriage of Kate and Mike Langston hangs in the balance for the first time all because of a choice Mike made to be unfaithful to Kate. All Kate ever wanted was to grow old and happy with Mike at this empty-nest stage of life. When Kate and Mike each receive a separate package containing incriminating pictures of Mike and another woman, the secret is out, and their marriage will never be the same again. In an attempt to save his sinking marriage, Mike begs Kate to accompany him on a four-week Pacific voyage on a yacht in order to deliver it to friends in Hawaii. The last thing Kate wants to do is to spend a month with the man she now hates, yet gentle prodding from God and friends cause her to reluctantly agree. But what's ahead for Mike and Kate no one could have predicted. Wild seas, boat damage, and serious injury are only the beginning. If they can weather the physical storms, perhaps their marriage has a second chance...

Once again, Bette Nordberg crafts an intriguing plot based on imperfect characters and their choices. Yet, once again, she makes the same mistakes she made in Thin Air by going the extra mile to fix things she had no business meddling with. It is a surprise to think that from this same author came Serenity Bay.

As usual, the characters are imperfect without personalities. One can hardly write a plot like this without imperfect characters. The good thing is that Kate is not portrayed as a perfect victim, but rather makes imperfect choices of her own. The plot lacks perfect mentor characters where there could have very well been a few. Bette almost has her characters down.

In some ways, it is almost pointless to write such a plot because of the way it must end. If this type of plot ends imperfectly, there is almost no point in writing it. The best thing an author can do with this type of plot is showcase the imperfect choices of the characters. Bette did this at first, as is her custom in her usual strong beginnings. This trend dwindled by the time the plot was nearing an end and quickly descended into chaos. In the end, Bette had fixed things she had no business tampering with. Yet it went further than that-the things she fixed negated all of Mike's wrong choices and made him look like an innocent victim. This greatly angered me because it caused the entire plot to become useless. The reader learns nothing from this because it teaches that one's wrong choice can simply be blamed on someone else. While Bette tried to make this fact untrue, it did not matter; the damage was done.

Basically, the only good things about this book are the imperfect characters and their choices. Bette has perhaps reached the lowest point in her career with this book because she refuses to leave well enough alone. Whether or not she will pull out of this nose dive it up to her alone.

2 stars

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