Thursday, March 29, 2007

Learning To Breathe - Karen White

Learning to Breathe
Karen White
New American Library

Contemporary Romance

Brenna O’Brien, one of five sisters, still lives and works in her hometown of Indianola, Louisiana. Every day, she drives past her old elementary school and the house where she grew up, now occupied by her oldest sister’s family. Now 33, she runs the historic movie house in town when she’s not going on hopeless blind dates arranged by her well-meaning sisters.

Brenna believes that her life’s possibilities ended more than 15 years ago, when her high school sweetheart, Pierce McGovern left town, and her. Since then, she’s been collecting old letters, but leaving them sealed so as not to be disappointed by their contents. When Pierce returns to town, it shocks Brenna on several levels. He plans to open a multiplex cinema that would run her movie house out of business. And he represents both past disappointments and new possibilities for Brenna and her life.

I have to admit, when I first met Brenna, I wanted to shake some sense into her. Lots of people break up with their high school sweethearts and go on to have fulfilling lives; it’s just not the end of the world. To the author’s immense credit, as I got to know the character better, and learned more about her background, she really grew on me. Her collection of unopened and unread letters really indicates a fear of life in general. The author uses lyrical language that instantly evokes a strong sense of place. The secondary characters are all very realistic and behave in believable ways. If you enjoy ‘second chance’ romances, you’ll enjoy this lovely story.

Rating: 7 ½
March 2007
ISBN# 978-0-451-22034-9 (trade paperback)


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