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Lindsey's Literary Leanings

Book Reviews - Contemporary Fiction / Biographies / Autobiographies

  • Lindsey Skelton-Smith

Gingerly (Author: Rachel B. Hodges)

Gingerly (Book Cover)

Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Romantic/Relationships

Caitlyn stood in the classroom lost in thought, pre-occupied by the letter that she'd received that morning. The job that she thought she had secured, she'd lost before it had even started. They 'no longer required her services'. Her current job was coming to an end & the lease on her apartment was due to expire.

The Principle roused her from her contemplation enquiring as to whether she would mind staying with little Aiden as his lift was going to be late collecting him. Caitlyn really needed to get home, & communicated as much to her superior. However, when she learns that it is in fact, Nick, Aiden's Father expected, it puts a whole different perspective on things. Caitlyn is only too happy to wait with her young student......

I'd been following this author for a number of weeks before spotting her novel. I am primarily drawn to titles & book covers & tend not to read synopsises.....initially anyway. When the book arrived I couldn't resist taking a peek at the potted version of the plot on the reverse. Having read that, I had prepared myself for a fairly run of the mill 'airhead babysitter falls in love with millionaire employer.' However, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that there were far more many layers to the central character Caitlyn. Far from being an 'airhead', she seems to have several 'strings to her bow,' plus a dark secret that is stopping her from taking that step into an unknown future, preferring to stay within her comfort zone. At times, this made her an extremely frustrating character, even though there is a nod to her reasoning behind her behaviour early on.

When I got to just over halfway through the novel & Caitlyn once again rejects the new life that could so easily be her's, I was genuinely starting to feel infuriated with her stubbornness, particularly as the misunderstanding between her & her employer seemed to stem from her almost wanting to believe him to be in the wrong.

The graphic description of the untimely demise of the racoon after Caitlyn hits it with her car, & the look on the creature's face as she deals the final blow used as an analogy for the expression on Nick's face, I felt was somewhat unnecessary & ill compared, but this may be my British sensitivities coming into play. I actually found it very disturbing, more so than I ever felt rejecting a member of the opposite sex or ending a relationship.

Caitlyn's trip to the dentist was hilarious & had me laughing out loud picturing the well detailed descriptions of the effects of the anaesthetic.

The last few chapters are where the reader really gets a feel for the effects of the harrowing position Caitlyn once found herself in, & her fear of history repeating itself are palpable. I am very much a character based reader/critic & have to feel a connection with one or more of the characters in a narrative to enjoy reading. Whilst I didn't dislike any of the characters (apart from Greg & the woman at Cape Canaveral), I didn't feel that anyone was easy to relate to, other than Nick's sister Lindsay for having the same name as me. The inclusion of a character with Autism was to me, a welcome addition to an otherwise 'normal' cast, as I don't feel that different disabilities are represented enough within literature. It also serves as an education for those readers who aren't aware of the effects the condition can have on the person & those around them.

This book is indeed very readable & kept me wondering what was going to happen between the two main protagonists. However, for me, it was perhaps lacking in diversification between characters, focusing mainly on the two central players & not spending a great deal of time on others.

I would welcome a sequel to this book as I would love to see further development of Caitlyn, Nick & particularly little Aiden, although the author might do well to exclude the bludgeoning to death of defenseless animals in order to aid its appeal to a wider audience.

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