Tuesday, May 26, 2009

LAWS OF HARMONY by Judith Ryan Hendricks

I won a copy of LAWS OF HARMONY from and finally had a chance to pick it up.

Sunny Cooper has spent years recovering from her unconventional childhood growing up in a commune in New Mexico. She thinks she has finally achieved a "normal" life when her boyfriend dies in a car accident and she discovers he may have been involved in shady business dealings. As Sunny is faced with more revelations, she escapes to Washington to sort out her life in a small coastal town.

This book reminded me a great deal of LOVE AND BIOLOGY AT THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE. However, where that book failed me, this one succeeded. The characters seemed to be more complex and I like the small mysteries throughout the book. The conclusion doesn't tie everything up nicely but leaves you wanting more. I had decided how I thought the book would end and then was very surprised with where it left off. I can easily see Hendricks revisiting these characters although she has said there will be no sequel. I liked the complexities of the story and the fact that Hendricks doesn't allow her characteres easy happy endings. Sunny has to face a lot of demons and figure out what she wants and that isn't always an easy thing. The book felt very honest to me and I really enjoyed it.

BOTTOM LINE: Recommended. While the plot of a woman trying to escape her past and reinvent herself in a new place is not novel material, Hendricks is very successful in finding a new way to present it. Very well-drawn characters and interesting themes.

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