Friday, April 14, 2017

Once in a Blue Moon Lodge by Lorna Landvik: A Review

Nora doesn't know she is pregnant with Sena, Ulla, and Grace, triplets that she conceived during a one night stand, when she visits Norway with the family matriarch, Ione.  Ione is visiting Norway to visit Berit, the cousin the stole her first love, Edon, from her.  On the trip, Nora meets doctor, Thomas, and falls head over heels for him while Ione and Edon rekindle their relationship.  Patty Jane has just closed her salon and social club in order to spend more time with her artist boyfriend, Clyde Chuka, and son, Henry, when she gets a call for Nora with an offer to buy a lodge.  The lodge is so generously priced that Nora can't help but take the owner up on the deal.  Soon, the lodge becomes a meeting place for the entire family.

This was a sweet story, very reminiscent of chick-lit, and I enjoyed the characters.  Ione is an outspoken, cinnamon bun baking grandma that has something to teach each and every one of her family members.  Patty Jane is still married to Thor, a man who disappeared around Nora's birth and didn't materialize until she was fourteen with a head injury, but she, Thor, Clyde, and Ione still create a cohesive family for Nora and Henry, one in which Ione rejects the idea that she is not Henry's real grandmother simply because he is not Thor's son.  Ione and Edon's relationship is one we all wish we will experience when we are older; dancing at home on Valentine's Day and making sure to spend every morning and evening together.  I fell in love with the characters, even though there were quite a few and some readers may find them difficult to keep straight.

Landvik's writing style was just not my cup of tea.  It is kind of choppy and the stories felt very rushed and manic, jumping between characters and stories.  I didn't find it funny or witty, which the synopsis made it out to be.  I was exposed to a culture that I was not previously familiar with (the family lives in Minnesota but is originally from Norway) but there wasn't much there, besides mentions of baked goods, to really help me understand the culture.  Issues like love, death and eating disorders were glossed over for strange jokes that didn't work.  I wish that the story had stayed with with the falling out between Ione and her cousin and wouldn't have rushed into other stories.  I think that this novel would be good for readers who enjoy light chick-lit but don't demand that romance (or any one theme) dominates the story.  It was an interesting, light read but one I could not find the humor or importance in.

Reviews of books like this one:
What To Do About the Solomons by Bethany Ball
We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter
The Patriots by Sana Krasikov

This book is currently available and can be purchased from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  Read more reviews on this book on Goodreads.

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher in order to review it but that did not have an effect on my review of the book.  This is my honest opinion of this book.  I am a participant in the Amazon Affiliates program.  By clicking on the Amazon link and purchasing this product, I receive a small fee.  I am not associated with Goodreads or Barnes and Noble in any way and the links provided are available strictly for your convenience and not to imply a relationship of any kind.

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