My rating: 4 of 5 stars
In the past, Stephen King had been the author I had read the most (although I never preferred his science fiction novels). Referred by a Woman's Day article about Jennifer Weiner's all-time favorite reads (chic lit) I picked it up at a local library.
Pearl, digested, unfolds the sexual scruples of a young woman who has just inherited a rural farm house from her "ghost uncle." In the interim between sleeping with the town Paul Bunyan and the itinerant, manic, yuppy she purchases a small diner from the local yokel--a part time drunk, part time wounded brute. The story unfolds as she attempts to retain secrecy in seducing both lovers while sorting out her own feelings about the nature of their romances. Meanwhile there are secrets flowing in the undercurrent of both her past, the family lives of those involved, and quite literally, the icy Maine lake that mirrors the town.
I can't call this book a romance novel exactly, nor is it completely a mystery but I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of writing as well as the obviously spiritual and psychological depth of the author who lacks the vulgarity of her husband.
The main character, though at times meretricious, is often radiantly benevolent which is only accentuated by the contrast of supporting characters such as her lover's nightmare of a teenage daughter and the former proprietor of the diner who she keeps on as a short order cook.
And as with movies, the end should have been obvious to a fellow writer but kept me intrigued until the very last sentence.
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