January 11, 2012
book review: the next always
Author: Nora Roberts
Nora Roberts knows how to deliver an entertaining story with likable characters, well-developed plot elements in a polished presentation. The Next Always, one of her latest installments, hits the mark on all of these points.
The first book in the trilogy, The Next Always begins with the three Montgomery brothers and their mother renovating the Inn BoonsBoro. The youngest, architect Beckett, lives above a pizza parlor and spends most of his days fine tuning his family's vision.
He also pines for Clare Brewster, the girl he has loved since high school, but who married another man and moved away. Years later, she is widowed, raising three sons and running Turn the Page, her bookstore.
After sparks fly between the two, Beckett finally makes a move. Together, they work through the real issue of how Beckett can fit into Clare and her sons' lives. They deal with their businesses, family and friend interference — not to mention a stalker.
They also have to face the ghosts of their pasts, and one who is knew to them — a woman who haunts the inn.
Set in Nora's hometown BoonsBoro, Md., the inn, bookstore and pizza shop detailed and in the book are real (and owned by Nora or her family members). While some might see this as shameless publicity, I see this as awesome publicity. If I were ever in the area, I would totally want to check out all three.
While we have seen some of these plot elements before — like the inn and ghosts from the MacKade brothers quartet and the ghost from the In the Garden trilogy — I still enjoyed the book. While I enjoyed reading those other two series, this one reached me a little more because it's told about people within my age range at the time I am that age. That might seem like a silly argument for why I liked it, but it still fits. Though her stories are to a degree timeless, it's nice to see characters who talk the way I talk and deal with things I deal with. I guess you can call it a modernization.
What I like best about this book, and any of Nora's books, is that you can consistently count on it having likable characters, a quality story and excellent execution. That never seems old or recycled.
Rating: 4 of 5
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