Ken July 27th, 2008
Several months back I sang the praises of the online personal library network by the name of LibraryThing. In addition to all of the great stuff I talked about earlier, they also receive several hundred free books a month from publishers that they give away. After a few months of trying, I was notified in June that I won a copy of The Marriage of True Minds by Stephen Evans. In exchange for the free book, LibraryThing asks you to review it for the community. Here we go:
The book follows the interactions of recently divorced environmental lawyers Nick and Lena. Nick gets all of the lobsters from the local grocery stores and puts them in the mayor’s swimming pool as a protest. Lena volunteers to represent him at his hearing (they still like/love each other) and he is ordered to have a psych evaluation. He maneuvers his way into being released into Lena’s custody and is ordered to undergo community service at a local animal shelter. Nick discovers the fate of the cats and dogs that spend 30 days at the shelter (nighty night Fido) and it severly disturbs him. Nick pulls one more trick out of his sleeve at the end.
This is Stephen Evans first novel, and it’s a decent attempt. The problem is that he has built the dialogue (which is fun) and drama of the story around Nick and Lena, but we don’t get a chance to get to know them really. There’s a bit of a flashback to how they met and were married, but Nick’s quirkiness (he was diagnosed with a delusional disorder) seems much more annoying than endearing. It’s a quick book to read and I can’t help but think that another fifty to a hundred pages of character/relationship development would have been a helpful addition to the book.
I was not as bothered by some that Evans wrote the book after discovering the prevelance of animal euthanasia in the United States. He basically wrote the book to bring it to the public’s attention. I didn’t have a problem with the storyline, it was the way we were supposed to latch on to the protagonist without much/any reason to. Anyway, it was an enjoyable afternoon read, but won’t be one I’ll be encouraging others to be sure they pick up.