Nostalgia has me pick up Nora Roberts releases every so often. And her new one, The Liar, was for sale on Kindle for $5.49 a while back, which is a bargain given the hardback price. So…
This new one wasn’t terrible. It was pretty standard NR. NR is a good storyteller. She is. And she has a distinctive voice.
But I’m really over the home reno and gardening porn. And I find her dismissal of urban community to be problematic. Rural communities are not inherently better or kinder or closer, which is the implicit message I get in a lot of her work. (Which makes the NYC setting of her In Death books kind of jarring, to be honest.)
I found the characterization of the narrator-heroine to be pretty inconsistent. She was young and naive and a victim, and not at all responsible for anything. She’s strong and independent and bounces back from a years-long emotionally abusive relationship immediately; and she’s beautiful, and has a professional-quality voice, and has business acumen, and wonderful design taste, and is the best daughter and mother ever. In short, she’s perfect and the hero falls in love at first site. The hero was a non-entity really. All the Bad Guys (and there are bad guys and Bad Guys) are one note evil and/or petty, targeting the heroine because they are Just That Evil/Mean. And the plot twist is pretty predictable to almost anyone who has ever read suspense or watched a Julia Roberts or Ashley Judd movie. I kind of wonder if NR has written something similar in the past, but don’t care enough to dredge my memory through her backlist to figure it out.
I’m sorry to say that I think I’m entirely done with NR. It was a good run while it lasted. (It lasted 25 years, since I started reading her as an early teen, which is a pretty good run.)