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Sunday, December 28, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 25.0° F  A Few Clouds
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A Book A Week: The Tapestry of Love by Rosy Thornton

Oh Rosy Thornton, where is your sharp edge? What happened to your astute observations, your subtle wit, your understated skewering of all things pompous? I loved your last book, Hearts and Minds, but The Tapestry of Love kind of left me cold.

The book is about a middle-aged divorced British woman who buys an old house in southern France, fixes it up, starts her own successful decorating business, meets the handsome neighbor, etc. etc. A predictable plot, yes, but I had hoped that Thornton's ever-so-slightly cynical voice could render it fresh and different. But alas, no, it's a conventional plot rendered conventionally.

Thornton's humor and zing are gone, and she just plods through the requisite scenes: the one with the sheep, the one with the priest, the one at the town market. It's like someone took all the spice out of her writing. I'm so disappointed.

If you want a comfort read, something to take your mind off your bratty kids and your boring job, this might do the trick. It's certainly not badly written or offensive. It's just that I was expecting a bowl of chili and I felt like I got Campbell's Cream of Tomato soup instead.

Becky Holmes blogs about books at A Book A Week.

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