Treading Water (Marie Force)


Title: Treading Water
Author: Marie Force
Available at: Amazon

This book was included as part of a Kindle giveaway I won from the USA Today Happily Ever After (HEA) romance bloggers.

I kept going back to the reviews at Goodreads to make sure the readers and I were actually reading the same book. I read a lot of them and wondered: ARE we reading the same book? What am I missing? With the exception of a review by someone I’m pretty sure didn’t actually read the book, everyone loved it and cried buckets.

It’s unfortunate that I didn’t find this story or the characters interesting until I was nearly done with it – 75% by my Kindle marker (I checked).

[highlight]SPOILER ALERT: It can’t be helped. Revealing information that may spoil this read for you is necessary to the review. If you plan on reading the book, then you might want to stop reading this review.[/highlight]

I’m going to try and do this review without making any right/wrong/good/bad judgments.

You’d think a book addressing an issue as complex and controversial as a husband remaining faithful to a wife who is comatose and likely to stay that way would be deep, emotional and complex. I felt like I was floating along the surface of what should have been deep emotions. About a third of the way into the book, I realized one source of the problem: it was shallow. I felt the way the story is told is shallow and the characters are shallow and quite frankly, I don’t really like Jack or Andi very much.

The time period between Clare being hit by a car and Jack going back to work is 14 months and it goes by like a stone skipping over the surface of water. Jack took care of Clare. Jack was in a haze. Jack’s sister comes to stay with the family and help out. Clare gets moved to her own house. Jack goes back to work. Ho hum. At no time did I feel Jack’s pain. The strongest emotion I felt was when he tells the newly-awakened Clare, “I waited years for you.” I don’t know about you, but if my husband of 20 years had met another woman and knocked her up while I was in a coma, then told me he’d “waited years” for me to wake up, I’d expect to have been in a coma a lot longer than 3 years.

As a result, it was really hard for me to keep reading this book. I kept waiting for it to become emotional, or even interesting. I’d be reading and think I should start the laundry, or gee, the dishwasher needs to be loaded and run. When I’m reading a really good book, the house could fall down around my ears and I could finish a book this length in a couple of hours. It just isn’t a good omen when I’d rather do housework than keep reading.

Because I feel there’s a big gaping hole where there should’ve been a lot of emotion in this story, I don’t even feel it’s necessary to get into the other issues I have with the story and the way it’s told.

No rave review from me, but obviously there are oodles of people who love love love this book. I’m not one of them, but I also don’t hate it. What a recommendation, right?

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