February 23, 2007
Tall Pine Polka
Tall Pine Polka by Lorna Landvik
Quit on 2/7/07
2007 TBR Challenge (incomplete)
In the small town of Tall Pine, Minnesota, at the Cup O’Delight Cafe, the townsfolk gather for what they call the Tall Pine Polka, an event in which heavenly coffee, good food, and that feeling of being alive among friends inspires both body and soul to dance. There’s the cafe owner, the robust and beautiful Lee O’Leary, who escaped to the northwoods from an abusive husband; Miss Penk and Frau Katt, the town’s only lesbian couple (“Well, we’re za only ones who admit it.”); Pete, proprietor of the Shoe Shack, who spends nights crafting beautiful shoes to present to Lee, along with his declarations of love; Mary, whose bad poetry can clear out the cafe in seconds flat; and, most important of all, Lee’s best friend, Fenny Ness, a smart and sassy twenty-two-year-old going on eighty.
When Hollywood rolls into Tall Pine to shoot a movie, and a handsome musician known as Big Bill appears on the scene, Lee and Fenny find their friendship put to the test, as events push their hearts in unexplored directions—where endings can turn into new beginnings. . .
I suppose everyone's entitled to an off day. Or an off book. After struggling through 116 pages (out of 440), I decided to call it quits. I simply didn't care for the story, and none of the characters appealed to me. If anything, they annoyed me. Not to mention the unrealistic dialogue and ridiculous number of asides. (I know, I know. I'm guilty of that myself.)
I've enjoyed most of Landvik's novels and gave Oh My Stars a perfect A+ rating last spring. Patty Jane's House of Curl, Your Oasis on Flame Lake, and Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons are also some of my favorites (the latter of which made my Top Ten for 2004 with a perfect rating of 5/5). But still, I wasn't terribly eager to read this one since I'd heard several negative comments about it and it's been sitting in one of my bookcases for quite a while. When it came time to put together my list for the 2007 TBR Challenge, I thought it was high time to give Tall Pine Polka a chance. Oh, well. One more to take to the used book store next week.