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Apr 3, 2009

REVIEW: "Laura Rider's Masterpiece" by Jane Hamilton

April 9th 2009 by Grand Central Publishing
Hardcover, 224 pages
isbn 0446538957
Synopsis: "Married for 12 years, Laura and Charlie Rider have come to share almost everything: their nursery business, their love for their animals, and, most especially, their zeal for storytelling. And though they no longer share a bed, they are happy enough continuing along in their pleasant, platonic routine. Then Charlie begins an email exchange in earnest with Jenna Faroli, the host of a popular radio show, and, according to Laura, "the single most famous person in the town." Seeing her opportunity, Laura cannot resist using Charlie’s new connection to promote her writing skills, and together, the couple crafts florid, strangely intimate messages that entice Jenna into their game. "The Project," as they come to call it, quickly spins out of control. As the lines between Laura’s words and Charlie’s feelings become blurred, Jenna finds herself effected in ways most disturbing, while Laura is transformed into an artist of the highest caliber—in her own mind. The end results are hilarious and poignant, and for Laura Rider, beyond even her wildest imagination."

It had a rough start, some of the writing towards the beginning forced me to reread a sentence or two to get to their meaning. Too many words and emotions in one sentence? Once we get to the point where we are introduced to all the characters, it flows simpler.
I loved the packaging of this little book, it was quite adorable. A cute little hardcover with a vintage cover, but I had mixed feelings about the contents. I could not bring myself to empathize with any of the main characters; and the subject matter was pretty shallow, or convoluted. I can't make up my mind. It is good that it was an 'easy read'; I am glad to not have spent a lot of time on it. I do not think I enjoy reading about flippant infidelity or trying to find something sensible or positive to possibly come from it. Once I finish a book I would like to come away with a lesson learned, or a sense of accomplishment, but I didn't quite get any good feelings from the book. The subject matter was just not something that could offer a positive take on it. Such as the synopsis warns of disturbing events, but I certainly disagree with the idea that Laura was transformed into a high caliber artist. Humph!
I did enjoy the imagery of the gardens that the Riders had created, I would love to visit such a place. The story was interesting when imagining what in the world was Laura Rider thinking; is she a little off her rocker? All this sinning and emotional upheaval just to learn how to write a romance novel? But for those who don't mind the silliness of the premise then it could be a fun adventure, it is so strange it could be witty. And as I said, it is a quick read therefore if you do decide to read it this is not a book that will take a lot of time, so you won't be mad at it for that. So you decide, do you want to give it a shot? Read the excerpt through the widget below, and if you do want to give it a try come back here and tell me so and I'll enter you in the giveaway courtesy of Hachette books. (I'll give it 3 stars, bordering on 2.5; but everyone has their own tastes!)
1. For your First entry, Follow Me, AND leave a comment with your email address. If you are already a follower, let me know that too.
2. For Two Extra Entries, Blog This Contest. Leave me the link to your Blog post.
3. For One Extra Entry, Twitter about this Contest. Leave me your Twitter name so I can check up. (I am BurtonReview on Twitter) TINYURL IS
You do not need to leave separate comments, all in one comment is fine. I will use Randomizer to select the winners.You must be 18 years of age or older to enter.The giveaway is open to Canadian and US residents only. NO P.O. Boxes. One winner per household/IP address. I will email the winners and they must respond within 72 hours.This giveaway will end on Saturday April 18th Midnight E.S.T.
Contest winners Are
1. Gwendolyn
2. Heidi
3. CarolSue
I'm emailing you now, please respond promptly with addresses!