I hope all of you had a great Easter. Despite being in quarantine (stupid Covid!), I sure did! I finished watching The Crown and did my annual viewing of Monty Python’s Life of Brian. On top of all that, I started a new book that I would love to show you all today.
Sarah’s Still Life by Matthew Kopf is about one woman’s determination to turn her life around. Sarah Hall wasn’t exactly dealt the best hand in the thing called life. With an alcoholic father and mentally ill mother, Sarah had a lot of trials and tribulations. At age 30, Sarah’s stuck in a monotonous routine of working at a tea shop and going to school. She’s afraid that she won’t be able to pursue her dreams at all. That is until the worldly, charismatic Michael Kensington returns to town and reignites a flame that she thought she put out a long time ago. Could Michael be the one to change everything for her and put her life into motion?
I’m enjoying this novel so far. I like the main and supporting characters. All of them are inviting and draw me into the world of the book, even if they feel like stock characters in a Hallmark movie (in a good way). They have their defining traits, especially the regulars at the tea shop.
I really liked Sarah from the moment I was first introduced to her as a character. She’s intelligent, witty, and willing to experiment with different flavors. She’s also frustrated with her stilted life and wants to get it moving without putting other people’s needs first as much. Sarah reminds me of the titular character from Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine without being a hermit and socially awkward (for the most part). Both define themselves by their traumas and are held back by their parents in various ways. Eleanor had a bit more of a personality than Sarah does, but since I’m only a third of the way through, that might change.
In addition, while I like Michael due to his charm and worldliness, I hope he’s not there to simply rescue Sarah. I’ve read and watched plenty of stuff, in which the fair prince saves the damsel in distress, and I would like to move on from that. It seems like the book might do that with its subversions of certain romance tropes. For example, when Loretta – Sarah’s boss at the tea shop – and Sarah discuss the latter’s past relationship, the former mentions that “a kind of a handsome, stud of a man might walk through that door” (p. 12).
Soon after, an older man walks through the door to the tea shop, and he’s clearly not her type. Michael appears a bit later. We’ll see where this book takes me.
We have now come to the end of the thirty-first chapter of “What Am I Reading?”
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