Since dropping out of the on-line networking scene, I managed to read two books in one week’s time, something I haven’t done in quite a while. The first book was The Help by Kathryn Stockett, which I will review after my book club discusses it, and this morning I finished Your Oasis on Flame Lake by Lorna Landvik.
Lorna Landvik is one of my favorite chick lit writers. This is the fifth book of hers I’ve read, the others being Oh My Stars, The View from Mount Joy, Welcome to the Great Mysterious,and Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons.
All of her books are set somewhere in Minnesota and center around a family or families dealing with its/their issues. Your Oasis is no different, this one focusing on two women who have been friends since high school, BiDi and Devera. Each woman is unhappy in some way, shape or form with her current life, and wants a change. Dev’s husband decides to launch a nightclub (called Your Oasis on Flame Lake) in their basement, and thus ensues a life of change for both women.
Or as the jacket notes read, “But then an unexpected crisis throws both families into chaos, forcing them all to take stock of their lives—and learn the power of forgiveness.”
The book was captivating, I really couldn’t put it down, but as far as I am concerned, it is far from Landvik’s best work. First of all, I counted at least 5 possible crises, and a sixth and seventh were in the offing. Every time you’d think things were settling down, something else crazy happened. And all of the crises were wrapped up in a nice little bow at the end, and everyone seemed happier for having had them.
Kind of nitpickier, however, was the character of Sergio, BiDi’s husband. I got the impression he was Italian-American, since the story involving his father had to do with Dear Old Dad being fresh off the boat from Europe to come to the States to sing opera. However, it appears Sergio himself was not born in the US, as his language is a tad bit stilted. Then I got the impression after a time that he was Spanish, but just as I got that impression, he called his child a ‘bambino’, sending me back to believing he was Italian. And then they called their son Carlos, which swayed me back to the Spaniard side of the fence.
Additionally, BiDi’s name kind of pissed me off too. It’s pronounced like the letters, B. D., but in my head, I pronounced it that way, as “biddy” and as “beady”… I wish she had just abbreviated to B.D., as the name came from BiDi’s initials (her name is Beverly Diane, but everyone calls her BiDi).
My favorite Landvik book remains a tie between Mt. Joy and Angry Housewives, and this came nowhere near either of those for me, but I did find it immensely enjoyable and a great, quick read. Three stars on GoodReads, and it fulfills a selection for the What's In a Name? challenge, namely reading a title with a body of water in it. I have one other Landvik title on my shelves at present, but may wait a while to get the taste of this one out of my mind before diving into Patty Jane’s House of Curl.