Wednesday, June 13, 2012

One Summer by David Baldacci ****

What is that drives successful artists to want to do something different. While a few comedy stars want to be seen as serious actors, this seems to be most prevalent for writers. Some writers use pseudonyms when they indulge this fantasy, but others use the same name, even at the risk of confusing their readers. In What is that One Summer, David Baldacci, the best selling thriller author, only partially risks this confusion in his romance about a family torn apart by sickness and death.

In a plot that will be familiar to romance readers: Jack Armstrong is terminally ill (of a forever unnamed malady), until Christmas eve, when his wife dies in a tragic accident and he miraculously recovers. The story is filled out with three children, a vindictive mother-in-law, and, of course, new loves.

For Baldacci's fans, Jack Armstrong - the Army Ranger - comes most convincingly to life when he is in rehab (much like boot camp), and when he get into fights - one on two or two on five - never a fair fight and never close. As they say, your DNA never changes.

Pleasant light summer reading - heavy-handed sentimentality with a mixture of macho violence by one of the best in the field.

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