Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Debra White Smith reviews: Possibilities

I just realized I still haven't finished these reviews. So I'd better do it so I can move on to more interesting postings.

And luckily, I can end this on a high note. Possibilities is the last in the series, and is again quite well done. The characters translated well, the story line fit, and it was overall a very entertaining read.

Allie had been dating, for quite some time, the gardener of her family’s Georgia peach plantation, Frederick Wently. However, upon learning he would soon propose, she tells her Aunt Landon, who is horrified. When Frederick proposes that night, she is so distraught she winds up fleeing and trips, breaking her leg. While incapacitated Aunt Landon tells Frederick to leave. He does so, quite bitterly.

Ten years later, Frederick’s sister and brother-in-law, the Crosbies, come to rent the plantation, as they own a cannery. Frederick comes too, a decorated war hero and pilot.

Even though at first the actual setting seemed a bit odd, it soon felt very natural. The only problem with this book is that it’s hard to see Frederick actually promising to marry the Louisa expy, who he clearly thinks of as a wild younger sister rather than a love interest. (In the original, Wentworth obviously saw Louisa as a potential love interest, though it was pretty clear Anne was the one he really wanted.) It felt rather contrived. However, the rest of it-Allie’s transformation, Macy’s obvious need for attention, the delightful Crosbies-was done extremely well.

Even the Mrs. Smith character was a fun one, this time instead of being an ailing widow, is a successful doctor who just happens to be from “the wrong side of the tracks” (a phrase which, given it is applied by the snobby characters toward a black woman, carries the subtle implication of racism as well, without the author needing to be anvilicious about it). She performs the same task as Mrs. Smith in the books, in an interesting twist.

I especially enjoyed Allie’s role. Like Anne, as she becomes more confident she also becomes more active. I won’t spoil it, but the way she finds out the Mr. Elliott expy’s terrible secret is quite…amusing.

This is third on the list, and definitely one to re-read.

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