Read Au cœur de l'Ouest by Penelope Williamson Free Online
Book Title: Au cœur de l'Ouest|
The author of the book: Penelope Williamson
Edition: À vue d'œil
The size of the: 318 KB
City - Country: No data
Date of issue: May 13th 2014
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Format files: PDF
Loaded: 1365 times
Reader ratings: 7.4
Read full description of the books:
*Yes, there are spoilers. You know the drill.*
I like Penelope Williamson. I really liked The Outsider, enjoyed A Wild Yearning, and even have a bit of a soft spot for Once in a Blue Moon. So imagine my disappointment when Heart of the West turned out not to be a pinnacle of western historical romance fiction, but rather, an exercise in patience. I think that after this book, someone should crown Penelope Williamson Queen of the Meandering Plot.
We begin with Clementine Kennicutt, a 17-year-old Bostonite in 1869. Raised by a rigidly pious father and doormat mother, Clementine has been trained her entire life to to be subservient (because she's a girl) and to have control of her emotions at all times. But Clementine has a hidden wild side, a passion for cowboys and tales of the wild west, and a fiercely stubborn, independent streak. So when Gus McQueen, a 25-year-old rancher-in-the-making is unceremoniously dropped in her lap (and is beguiled by Clementine's rare but brilliant smile), she carpe diem's the balls out of fate and elopes to Montana.
After having endured page after page of Clementine's background story and her awkward trip with Gus the Gutless Wonder across the country, we're introduced to Zach Rafferty, Gus's "ne'er-do-well" brother and all-around badass cowboy. I liked Rafferty from the beginning. He's quiet, surly, mean, and scary. But in a good way. Aw, hell, I don't know, maybe I'm crazy. Perhaps I should put a disclaimer here since I had a crush on this guy when I was the tender age of eight:
Yes, at eight years old, I saw The Untouchables on television and thereafter dreamed of marrying Billy Drago. And considering my favorite character in Masters of the Universe was Evil Lyn...
(Seriously, Meg Foster in this role was a stroke of pure genius.)
...it was apparent fairly early on (though not recognized until many years later) that I genuinely enjoy being scared. Clementine's problem is that she also enjoys being scared by Rafferty, she just doesn't know it. Instead, she paints her unease as a bad thing, and chalks up any fluttering feelings she gets from Rafferty to the fact that she must detest him. Silly little church girl.
Gus, on the other hand, is sort of the antithesis of Rafferty. Where Rafferty is practical and steadfast, Gus has his head in the clouds and is flaky. Where Rafferty faces problems head-on, Gus buries his head in the sand. Where Rafferty doesn't allow his emotions to rule him, Gus is ridiculously easy to manipulate. Pile onto that Gus' incessant need to control Clementine and you've got a recipe for a character I truly disliked. Clementine was a photographer (hello, pioneer mother of one of my obsessions), but Gus is constantly looking down on her photography. I kinda wanted him dead for that. Seeing as how I also wanted him dead so's Rafferty could stake his claim on Clem's lady bits, it's fair to say my feelings towards Gus weren't warm almost from the beginning. I suppose he wasn't all bad, but he wasn't good enough for me. Or for Clementine.
We spend almost the first half of the book with Clementine, Gus, and Rafferty, watching Clementine trying to adjust to the harshness of the west, and trying as hard as she can to love the man she married even though her feelings for Rafferty are becoming quite a nuisance. I got pretty wrapped up in these three, desperately wanting to know how Williamson was going to make it possible for Clementine and Rafferty to get together when BAM! Suddenly we're not with our three main characters anymore. Nope, they're gone, and in their place are other characters from the same town, some we've met briefly, others we're being introduced to for the first time. So after investing myself in Clem, Gus, and Zach for a couple hundred pages (I think), I then had to downshift in record time and adjust to the fact that I was reading about people I didn't give a single flying, psychotic fuck about.
Really? Really, Penelope? (I've read enough of her books to be on a first name basis, I think.) This is what you're going to do to me? Oh, look, Hannah Yorke is sad. Sam Woo needs a wife. A mail-order bride has been raped. Two Cornish miners are love struck....
And I was sitting there like, Who cares?! Rafferty's gone!
Now it wasn't just the fact that there were new characters to get used to, it was also that their stories weren't very interesting and took forfuckingever to get through. I don't mind long books as long as something is actually happening to justify the time I'm spending. I contemplated skimming over most of the side stories in favor of getting to the meat and potatoes of Clem and Rafferty, but I'd already read nearly half the book! I told myself I could do it, and trudged on.
After a few chapters' worth of side stories, we finally come 'round to Clem, Gus, and Rafferty again, and guess what? More pointless yearning, more ridiculous platitudes about honor and vows before god and all that jazz that had me nearly on my knees, thanking the gods of womanhood that divorce is now legal. I'm not a Christian, so I'm sorry if this offends anyone, but I really wonder about something when I read these books, and it's a question that makes me wish I had a time machine just so I could go back and ask it. "Are you really worshiping a god that would conscript you to a life of suffering and unhappiness?" Only human beings could take positive emotions and turn them into something to feel guilty about. Gus loved Clem, but it was a purely selfish love. He cottons on to the fact that Clem and Rafferty are in love, but doesn't do or say anything other than feel relief when Rafferty decides to leave for good. Aside from his selfishness and cowardice (yes, I thought Gus was a coward), he's also not very good to Clementine. Sure, he's obsessed with building her a big house and giving her back all the amenities she gave up when she eloped with him, but she doesn't care about any of that. All she wanted when she agreed to leave with him was the freedom to be herself. Gus, of course, doesn't catch onto that and treats her almost like her father did, controlling her and treating her like a child. To put it mildly, Gus was a tool.
I knew how Williamson was going to craft this story for the inevitable Clem/Rafferty reunion. Anyone who reads these types of books should know that Gus had to die. It would have been refreshing if Clem had just run off with Rafferty like he'd asked her to, but that isn't Williamson's style. No, she always has her inappropriate spouse killed off somehow. I knew that going into this book, but you know what? Gus had so many close calls that I was close to pulling my hair out. Something harrowing would occur and I'd be like, "Is he finally dead?" Nope! He'd pop back up in the next chapter, and I actually yelled at my Kindle at one point, "Just die already!!"
Then when he did finally die, Williamson tried to make the reader like him a little bit. Too little, too late. At least for me.
As for Clem, what began as an interesting character quirk (her inability to properly convey her feelings) quickly turned into a seriously aggravating cop-out.
The ending is what I can only describe as classic Penelope Williamson; two characters who are obviously in love with each other, but circumstances are different and now they don't know what to do with themselves, and even though there's nothing stopping them, they still like to pretend (for some asinine reason) that there is, and they refuse to just talk to each other, so it's page after page of more drawn out melodrama until they finally get to the bumpin' and grindin'....only for there to be even more hurdles and roadblocks afterward! By the time these two got together for good I was too frustrated and emotionally drained to give a good goddamn.
I wish I could rate this higher, but I just can't bring myself to do it. There's just too much book and not enough actual content.
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Read information about the authorPenelope Williamson is an internationally renowned author of historical romance and suspense. Penelope Williamson was born in Fairbanks, Alaska, and spent the first eleven years of her life as an US Air Force brat. She has a B.A. in history, an M.A. in broadcast journalism, and was in the U.S. Marine Corps for six years, where she reached the rank of Captain. She has more than 1.8 million books in print, including The Outsider, Heart of the West A Wild Yearning, Once in a Blue Moon, and Keeper of the Dream. Penny is a past winner of the Romantic Times' Best Historical Romance of the Year award and the Romance Writers of America's RITA awards. Penelope Williamson lives with her husband in Mill Valley, California.
pseudonyms: Elizabeth Lambert, Penn Williamson
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