A Willful Woman…

Thoughts about books from a romance addict.

TBR Challenge: The Sound of Snow by Katherine Kingsley

on August 17, 2016

The theme: Kickin’ It Old Skool. Wendy defines this as “published more than 10 years ago” but to me, Old Skool means a nice fat historical with an ugly cover. This was published in 1999, so isn’t in prime old school territory, but the plot is kind of a mix of Violet Fire by Jo Goodman and Light And Shadow by Lisa Gregory (both read last April) so it has some roots.

Why This One: I own literally hundreds of possibilities for this theme, but really was not in the mood for sweeping stories of lover’s betrayal during wars. This Regency romance seemed pretty cozy. As it turned out, I might have been happier with a rapey hero and a long sea voyage.

The first part of the book is pleasant enough, albeit bland. The loss of her parents sent Joanna to live with her aunt and uncle, who were none too happy about the arrangement. Fortunately, Joanna had her younger cousin Lydia to dote on. When faced with a forced marriage to a man she loathed, Joanna escaped to Italy, but she and Lydia kept up a correspondence.

Six years later, a now-widowed Joanna returns to England after hearing of Lydia’s death. She’s heard all about how terrible Lydia’s husband is, and what a dreadful father to their son — and indeed, young Miles is in a state of great emotional disturbance. But Guy is by no means the villain Joanna expected, and he’s a very attractive man.

I doubt any reader is really surprised to learn that Lydia was not the basically good-hearted person Joanna thought she was. There are other non-surprising surprises to come.

Joanna using affection and art therapy to help Miles get over his trauma, and Guy and Joanna falling in love was, again, pleasant if bland. The second half of the story was where I started to wish this book had gotten lost behind a cabinet. Joanna is adored by absolutely everyone, and she gets away with some terrible behavior — forcing Guy to tell her his horror story from the war, for one thing, and then later lying to him about something he specifically tells her is very important to him, for his own good.

And then there’s the resolution of the plot. The Sound of Snow reads somewhat like an inspirational romance (though one with steamy pre-marital sex.) God and religion are very important to Joanna and become important to Guy. And religious themes are used here is a way that made me wish I’d read it while fasting. The characters act in a really callous manner, but it’s all part of God’s plan and there’s even a freakin’ heavenly visitation to show just how okay God is with everything that happens.

Perhaps if I’d been more in charity with the book as a whole, I wouldn’t have had such a visceral reaction to the end, but it felt ten kinds of wrong to me. On the bright side, I own at least three more Kingsley books, so the TBR will now be much reduced.


13 responses to “TBR Challenge: The Sound of Snow by Katherine Kingsley

  1. KeiraSoleore says:

    This is very strange to have such a strong inspy theme in a supposedly non-inspy book. But it’s not the inspy nature of the book that would have made me DNF it but rather the dishonorable behavior of Joanna. The whole plot seems contrived to some extent, engineered to bring Joanna and Guy together somehow.

    Hmm. Pity. I always feel letdown when a trad Regency doesn’t work out. Like it’s a betrayal or something. 🙂

  2. azteclady says:

    I…I can’t even. A heavenly visitation? oh dear.

  3. Lynn AAR says:

    On the one hand, I can see where religion would have been likely to hold an important place in the lives of at least some Regency characters. But a heavenly visitation? That does sound a bit much.

    Trying to imagine Regency-style art therapy and psychobabble, too. Oh dear.

  4. Valancy says:

    You poor thing! I haven’t been near a Kinglsey since I DNF’d In the Presence of Angels. It was ridonkulous – and I should have been on my mettle, cos the blurb had that TERRIBLE play-on-words- thing they seem to do in saga-ery books.

    something like ‘he vowed to win her trust, save her farm, marry her, mend her soul, and make her believe….In the Presence of Angels.’ I have never forgotten it – it is scarred on *my* soul…

  5. Lynn says:

    Okay, adding this to my Never To-Read List. I’m not big on heavenly visitors showing up to excuse bad behavior. Thanks for the review!

  6. Bona says:

    It sounds like the kind of book I would hate. So thank you for another adition to my never to read list.

  7. Dorine says:

    That does sound over the top. Well, like you said, the positive is the TBR pile is dwindling.

  8. […] The heroine believes her cousin is a little spoiled but basically good-hearted. Hahahahahaha. My TBR Challenge […]

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