Thursday, June 9, 2011

Book Review: Moth to the Flame by Joy Dettman (book 3)

Date Published: 01/03/2011
Pages: 512
Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction
Sent to me from Pan Macmillan Publisher


In Moth to the Flame, Joy Dettmann returns with another dazzling tale of the unforgettable characters of Woody Creek.
The year is 1946. The war ended five months ago. Jim Hooper, Jenny Morrison's only love, was lost to that war. And if not for Jenny, he would never have gone.
'An eye for an eye,' Vern Hooper says. An unforgiving man, Vern wants custody of Jenny's son, his only grandson, and is quietly planning his day in court.
Then Jenny's father Archie Foote swoops back into town. Archie offers Jenny a tantalising chance at fame and fortune; one way or another he is determined to play a part in her life.
Is Jenny's luck about to change, or is she drawn to trouble like a moth is drawn to a flame?

I was very excited to read 'Moth to the Flame' and even though it had a slow start, I was not disappointed. While the realism of the story-line did hover towards the unbelievable at times, The book had more purpose than the last one and was again saved by Joy Dettman's humorous and historical writing.

The good thing about Dettman's books is that each new novel comes with a sort of "Previously in..." section like they have on Soapies. I thought that this was great for people who accidentally  skipped a novel or had been reading other novels in between and wanted to catch up. Along with that, And the consistent writing style -complete with trivia- reading the woody creek series is made a very comfortable familiar experience every time.

The main character Jenny continues to have her downfall in this novel after marrying Ray King a stuttering tall man who promises that he doesn't want any children of his own. After the marriage of course he acts rather differently thinking of marriage as more of an ownership than a partnership. After I got past that section of the novel I was beginning to think that either Dettman's story-line was slightly farfetched - made more believable by the fact that Jenny was a pretty girl that is more likely to be taken advantage of by nasty men- or that the men of that era were real pigs. After finishing the novel and considering the sexist values of the time I have come to believe the latter.

In some ways I thought that Jenny was hard done by and was dealt a bad hand and in others I thought there were some things she could have done to avoid certain situations. Being as naiive as she was when she was younger, made it more believable in the first novel. I think overall the whole series is kind of farfetched. The possibility that all these things might happen to one person is unlikely. However, like I said I didn't live in the era and it is a work of fiction. As farfetched as it is I like the novels because they are entertaining to read and some of the characters are so typical that it makes me laugh.

In this novel the reader got to see a bit more of Jenny's kids which was good. It was interesting to see all the different personalities grow and to hear about life from their point of view. Jenny even got to see things from someone elses point of view in reguards to something she had done, which was really ironic and insightful.

I thought it was a great idea for the author to convey a lot of messages about death in the novel, because there were so many funerals. One being that people forget another's sins when they die and everyone speaks of them as if they were a great person. This was so true! and many times while reading the novel I could say that "this is so true" because it was and there were a lot of intelligent points made about the society of that era.

The best thing about the novel was that it actually felt like it went somewhere this time. The worst was probably the heartache and the gloomy start. Overall I  think this novel was worth about 4.5 Stars.

1. Pearl in a cage
2. Thorn on the rose
3. Moth to the Flame

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