10 February 2022

Stella Bain by Anita Shreve

I'm down to the last few Anita Shreve novels in her bibliography and I have to say, I am reading them last for a reason. I haven't really enjoyed the last 3 novels I've read of hers and Stella Bain is no exception. I have one or two left that I've yet to find at a used bookstore thus far, but I have really high hopes for them so I can finish my Shreve-reading experience on a high note.

Stella Bain is about a woman who suffers from amnesia and PTSD from a blast in WW1 where she was an ambulance driver. As her memories begin to come back to her she remembers her life previous to serving in the war where she was married to an abusive husband and had two children. The second portion of the book is about her legal battle to regain custody for her children. This is interestingly my second Shreve novel with a custody battle (Fortune's Rocks) and in both books it's been by far my favourite part. 

The marriage was different minute to minute, as are all marriages, she suspects, and yet maddeningly the same day after day. Until the end. Until the unbearable end."

I think the biggest problem for me is that generally, I don't like historical fiction. I also haven't seen a book cover so bad in I don't know when... who did the art for this??? It's like a bad Homesense painting your grandma hangs in her bathroom. I am of the opinion that covers matter and are to be judged. You will not find me with a single movie adaptation cover on my shelf, I despise them. 

Anita Shreve (RIP)

I also felt the plot was a bit rushed. There are really two separate books here and I would have much preferred a more detailed version of either than what we got instead. 

The child desperately needed one parent who would always say and do the right thing, who would be a rock in her shifting world, who would tell her how to behave, if necessary."

So overall, this was terrible. I already predict it will be on my worst reads of 2022 list but I guess we're only in early February... Please don't shy away from Anita Shreve as she is a very talented author but this just felt very blah. I wrote a full author spotlight on her here ages ago. 

No comments:

Post a Comment