Monday, September 23, 2013
Review of My Sunshine by Catherine Anderson
A couple of days ago I was in the basement, doing the laundry, and I saw a bright yellow paperback novel on one of the shelves. It was dirty, dusty, and covered with dead spiders: My Sunshine by Catherine Anderson. I have no idea if I bought this, someone gave it to me, or it was left over from previous house-owners. But it didn't look familiar, and I thought...Hey, let's give it a try!
The book started out harmless enough. Brain-damaged virginal heroine working in a dog kennel, bachelor veterinarian hero, some sweet moments. It was all fairly generic but sort of appealing.
(There may have been a scene with an old woman, a dead cat, and a new kitten that may have caused Penelope to get teary-eyed, but since there is no photographic evidence to prove that, it's all conjecture).
Anyway, the very first time the heroine meets the hero she gets totally over-whelmed and nervous, and she forgets her own name. She explains to the hero that following her brain injury, she tends to forget things during moments of high stress.
The story continues on, all pretty normal. He is lonely and needs a good little "wifey" and she is drop-dead gorgeous, an incredible home-decorator (and his walls are bare), an amazing cook (and he forgets to eat meals), and has a Dog-Whisperer-like relationship with kittens and puppies (dogs bite other employees, but curl up in her arms and gaze at her adoringly). Basically, she is perfection incarnate, with a brain injury.
Fast-forward to the end. Hero wants to get married, she is accused of stealing drugs (but it's a set-up of course), she moves out. And then...and then...
A deranged lunatic vet tech exposes her boobies to the hero, professes her highly unstable and undying love for him, accuses him of rape, gets slugged by his secretary, turns out to have a long history of sexual harassment, and then shows up at the heroine's house with a big-ass knife and tries to kill her.
Now, at this point in the story I'm thinking...
1. When did this normal story jump the freakin' shark? And...
2. Uh oh. The heroine has memory problems during moments of high stress. And I can't think of a more high-stress situation than a deranged lunatic trying to kill her!
So, what happens? The heroine uses tai chi moves she learned years ago during therapy to thwart the would-be-killer. She clearly recalls all of the movements and perfectly executes them.
Which brings up two troubling items...
1. WHO THE HELL USES TAI CHI TO THWART A KILLER WITH A KNIFE? And...
2. A plot hole so big you could drive a Winnebago through it.
At this point, my face sort of looked like this...
Finally, in two short pages the hero and heroine make up and everybody's happy.
To be honest, I don't mind old-fashioned romances with near-perfect characters, but I do expect some consistency. You can't use the memory-loss thing for the meet-cute, and then forget about it during the black moment. Oy.
In conclusion, if you like sugar cookies with frosting, cute puppy dogs, sappy romance, and are willing to overlook jump-the-shark moments and gigantic inconsistencies in the storyline, then you might enjoy this book.
Otherwise, you can sneak it back into the basement, and hide it with the rejected Christmas gifts from 2007.
All my best,