Monday, June 13, 2016

We Could Be Beautiful - by Swan Huntley: Book Review

Author: Swan Huntley
Publisher: Doubleday Books
Number of Pages: 352
Publication Date: June 28th 2016

The description of this book on GoodReads was more dramatic, actually interesting, and intense then the novel was. When I finished the novel, I thought: "What have I just read?" This only happened before after reading Nicholas Sparks' A Bend in the Road.

There is nothing psychological about this book. For the first half of the book you keep reading about Catherine West, a spoiled brat of 46 years old, who has an obnoxiously large sum of money delivered to her account every month, she spends it on useless things, has a business that's semi-useful, and desperately wants to have a family. Most certainly I'm not convinced of her "good" side just because she mentions the "poor people out there". She meets an odd man, but she doesn't pay attention to all the little things that should catch her attention and ring those alarm bells because she's beyond ready to meet the one. They plan their wedding, plan to have a baby because it will bring them more money now that Catherine's funds are running low, and play house. As you keep reading you are aware of the stiffness of their relationship, of the counterfeit of the perfect life these two rich people try to present. Catherine is judgmental, mean, you read of the brands she buys, of the food she orders, and it is all so uninteresting. There's clearly something off with her boyfriend-too-quickly-turned-fiancé, William, that you come to the conclusion that only in a movie or in a book could someone be so willingly blind.

The most normal people in this book, in my opinion, were Caroline, Catherine's sister, and Dan, Catherine's masseur. In the end, they are the ones who will be there for Catherine. This just proves that normal shouldn't be overlooked.

I reached the half of the book, and I kept reading because I was promised a psychological novel and I wanted to read one. With tortoise movements we get somewhere, eventually. Spoiler: it's not psychological, but I kep reading because I was so close to the end. Turns out William was after Catherine's money and some revenge because his family blackmailed Catherine's father, who apparently paid too little over the years. What's more, Catherine's mother had an affair with William when he was seventeen years old, and Caroline is his daughter. You figure this out way before Catherine does, and it's not shocking at all because, as I said, there's something fishy about William. It's a rather silly plot, in my opinion. There was supposed to be suspense to keep the reader interested, but I didn't find this suspenseful at all. It was tacky.

The writing wasn't bad, but the plot was unfortunate. I don't understand why they keep naming every book psychological even though they clearly aren't. I am glad I only spent two days reading this, a weekend, because this is an easy read, and I am glad I didn't spend more time on it.

I received an advanced ebook copy of this book from the publisher, Doubleday, via Net Galley. All thoughts expressed here are my own.

List of Characters:
Catherine West - main character, lives in Manhattan
Elizabeth - her mother, has Alzheimer
Caroline - Catherine's sister
Bob - Caroline's sister
William Stockton - Catherine's fiancé
Edward + Donna Stockton - William's parents
Susan - Catherine's friend
Vera - employee at Leaf, Catherine's shop
Maya - employee at Leaf, Catherine's shop
Dan - Catherine's masseur

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