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