Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Review of Catch of the Day by Kristan Higgins

You might remember that I sat next to the funny and fabulous Kristan Higgins at a book signing last month. I picked up her book Catch of the Day, which won the RITA last year -- and thanks to 2 cross-country flights last weekend, I finally got a chance to sit down and read it. Here's the skinny on this romantic comedy:

First Date à la Maggie:

Take one lovelorn diner owner (me).
A generous helping of nosy local gossips.
A dollop of envy at married sister's perfect life.
A splash of divine intervention (my matchmaking priest)...
Combine ingredients with one adorable puppy, add a strong but silent lobsterman with a hidden heart of gold—and watch the sparks fly.

The first thing I liked about this book: the terrific first-person voice, funny and self-deprecating and likable from page one. Maggie is the town spinster at age 32. She owns a diner, has a crush on the new priest in town, and finds her love life (or lack of one) the center of everyone's gossip circle. It doesn't help that her identical twin, Christy, has the life Maggie has always wanted: the perfect husband, the perfect job, the perfect baby daughter. When she finally finds a local guy who might be perfect, she puts her foot in her mouth more times than you can count. You'll like her, laugh at her, and feel for her all at the same time -- a great combination of character traits that (for the most part) are girl-next-door believable.

The second thing I liked about this book: it's a contemporary romance that isn't about too much more than a collection of small-town folks and the loves and lives they share. There isn't any paranormal activity in Gideon's Cove, Maine, no suspense or erotic encounters either. It was refreshing to see that you can, in fact, get lost in the everyday activities of quirky, appealing characters.

The only thing I didn't entirely like: the black moment in the story results from a classic "misunderstanding" that really could have been straightened out with a brief conversation between hero and heroine. (It's okay, Kristan, if you're reading this -- I still suspended my disbelief because by that point in the story I loved Maggie and Malone). Still, I wanted them together enough to keep reading, even though I really just wanted to kick Maggie in the keister and straighten her out.

Bottom line: Catch of the Day is a really fun, appealing comedy that will draw you in from start to finish. Pick it up if you get the chance!


Marianne Arkins said...

Okay... I'm sold :-)

Mary Ricksen said...

Perhaps in the dark moment, that's exactly what she was trying to do.

Another must read!