Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Bah Humbug!

So, with a little Christmas spirit, I see a beautiful cover, check the book description online, together with 20 good reviews, and it's only 89 pages. It's perfect for me to review while I'm reading a longer novel...

Except, as I waded through the first pages, I was continuously ready to say, forget it! First, I gather. the Family Tree is an important part of what I discovered was a series after I had started reading. I tried both the Kindle version and the desktop computer version and was not able to read anything because of its size and lack of clarity. I got this off of the Amazon site... The family in this story is in purple in the lower left-hand corner...but many if not all of the other people seemed to be included for one reason of another...


The description on Amazon is apparently for the entire series and the grandfather starts the Prologue... then plays a very small part in the book. The point of view changes from person to person which would have been alright...IF... you knew who these people were...

The characters are not identified in any real way (I gather you would have had to read the entire series to have met them) However, not only are the character POVs constantly changing, but some of these people have nicknames! Then there are lots of other people thrown in, again with just names. I was so confused that I stopped reading and went on  to the second chapter, hoping I could grasp what the book was about. The first chapter had no correlation to the book cover...

Many names are potentially multi-sex names...Chris, Mattie, etc., and then the spouse is called husband or wife...so we find Chris, in a scene with another man--they are apparently lovers. While somewhere else it talks about Chris needing to work on his relationship with his wife??? Was that a woman somewhere, or was "wife" being used for his partner...no way to tell...

Those of you who have read my book reviews know that I have reviewed many good homosexual, bisexual, and multi-partner based books... Nevertheless, I was shocked and caught totally off guard when I had to piece together that two men and one women were living together as a family. Please, my preface of having reviewed similarly oriented books is made on purpose. I am not responding to the sexuality of the characters. I am angry and upset that nothing had prepared me...and that I had to wade through all the crap of multiple name, nicknames, personal endearments, to figure out who was "doing" who... 

And then I was helped along, by having the sexual delights become quite explicit--I would have preferred knowing two men were intimate; rather than learning about somebody's d*** as a way to realize that someone is gay...

The thing is...if you skipped that early garbage and went on to the later book, it is quite a good book... To me, it felt like the author wanted to make sure readers knew that the main characters were in a threesome and shoved it down the reader's throat little by little...and for no purpose whatsoever. You see there is very little sex involved with the rest of the book and none of the language that was used in the beginning...  Incomprehensible to understand! 

I remember a director of finance with whom I used to work was a terrible teacher to we, who were budget officers getting their annual allocations, etc.  He was soooo knowledgeable about his work that he would race through, even new instructions, and we would all sit there stunned, trying to follow him. The analogy is related to this writer. She has apparently become so involved with her characters and this family that she has no longer the ability to introduce those characters to new readers. Abbreviations, such as MJ are used sometimes...as well as Matthew and Mattie and Matt...then there is my husband or "our" husband...but you have to remember who the narrator is for that particular section in order to know which of the characters is claiming the husband... (is that why the sexual organs were put in so we could begin to recognize what sex the character was?) I was speechless trying to comprehend who was doing what to whom...and why all these other character names were presented, seemingly for no real reason...since their inclusion certainly didn't move the story further...

Interestingly, later on the three characters are referred to as perverts... I was offended on behalf of those with different sexual orientations--the handling of the sexuality was farcical, absurd in my opinion, with little respect in its presentation. 

So, if you decide to read this book, I suggest you immediately go to Chapter 2 where the story actually begins... I would give the rest of the book a 4/5 at least...the first part of the book, a "1."

The key thing for me was that this was a Christmas book, it had a heartwarming story about an adopted child, which was especially well done. There was absolutely no need for sex to be part of this particular book...the message was too important for readers to have to choke on d***s being discussed even before the story line had been developed! 

Personal opinions aside about the way the sexuality of the main characters was introduced, if the books in this entire series refer to a large family such as this seems to be, readers know nothing about the people who are thrown into a single book without any character development of any significance. After all the book was less than 100 pages so more could have been provided in consideration of keeping each book able to be read as a stand-alone. Expecting people to overlook the lack of any real background on the relatives that appear for a brief "sentence" and then disappear or come back for Christmas is totally unsatisfactory.  Obviously I am not recommending this book and this is to alert readers of the sexuality issues that are not in any way spotlighted as an alert to potential readers.

I apologize for this not being my normal type of review... Because the story really is a good heartwarming tale. When I finished the book, i went back to reread the first part of the book, just to make sure I was being fair. As you can see, I clearly did not gain any acceptance of that forced consumption of the characters' sexuality as the first issue addressed in a Christmas story... 




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