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Across the Pond

Across the Pond - Cheri Crystal *I was given a copy of this book by ylva publishing in exchange for an honest review.

In this book we have a rather frantic introduction to the character of Janalyn and too many side trips to things that don't matter. Way too many descriptions. But we don't read much about her partner. From her canned dialogue I pictured her as a middle-aged guy who likes his occasional cigar. For example, as the book begins, Janalyn goes all out making a dinner for their 13th anniversary, and after this fine meal Faith, the partner who is ironically named, says, "I think I'll take my shower now unless you need me to help clean up." Who on earth says that to a partner of thirteen years, or even to someone on their first date? "You wash, I'll dry," should be the motto. What's wrong here?

We are given hints that Janalyn is entirely subservient to her partner of thirteen years and that the relationship isn't quite working. But, come on, the book is entitled, Across the Pond. We know this couple are going to break up, so let's get this stilted relationship ruined and move on to greener pastures. No. We have to wait until the book is a quarter of the way done before that 'surprise' can happen. The submissive angle doesn't come up again.

So, our Janalyn rebuilds her ego, throws herself at work and spends five years on the elliptical at the gym with her frisky best friend, Debs, with whom she works. They have done such great work they are sent to the U.K. for a symposium. Here is where I found some enjoyment in the book as it slows down and attempts some showing as opposed to telling.

She finds her restored confidence in herself tested by trust issues with a strong crush in Britain which was OK in the story, except for simple dialogue and the "sex talk" which was the equivalent of "Oh. Remind me later to run down to Ikea and pick up a new chest of drawers," and the frequent, still pervasive, over-description. But I felt more connected to the MC here and the book read much better.