A Big Read with a Light Read as an Appetizer

Next time I'll read it in Russian
Several summers ago, I read Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. I was inspired by Kate, the daughter of my cousin Frank's wife Clara. Kate was 16 years old at the time and was in the middle of reading the book. (Smart girl, great way for an outsider to pass the time at our day long "Cousins' Party.") Inspired and not to be out done by someone not yet out of high school, I set out to read the book that summer.

I am of the mind-frame that reading should be a pleasurable experience so I refuse to read a book all the way through just for the sake of doing so. I did enough of that in graduate school! I finished Anna Karenina but it was more out of the desire to conquer a goal rather than the enjoyment. While the book had its moments, I though ol' Leo could have told the story in about the third of the time.

Last I picked another big book to read, albeit a bit "lighter." Stephen King's The Stand, Uncut was there on the staff picks shelf at the MSU library and I had thought about giving it a try from time to time. I did start reading it over Christmas break in college but got caught up in school and life and never went back to it until now. The unedited version is over 1,100 pages.

Before tackling The Stand, Uncut, I decided to squeeze in a quick, easy read. Montana Sky by the prolific Nora Roberts (Apparently this was her 100th novel in 15 years) fit the bill, and I'm about 40 pages from the end.  Definitely a light read.

A quick summary of the book copied from the web...
"When Jack Mercy died, he left behind a ranch worth nearly twenty million dollars. Now his three daughters—each born of a different marriage, and each unknown by the others—are gathered to hear the reading of the will. But the women are shocked to learn that before any of them can inherit, they must live together on the ranch for one year. They are sisters—and strangers. Now they face a challenge: to put their bitterness aside and live like family. To protect each other from danger—and unite against an enemy who threatens to destroy them all?"
I'm always curious to read ficion about Montana and the plot seemed interesting. The themes in the story relating to family, leadership, male and female dynamics, and other deeper issues kept me reading, but the romance theme was too pronounced for my taste. Each of the girls falls in love making for very unoriginal and predictable reading.

In addition, I get the feeling that Nora Roberts spent very little time in Montana or on a ranch anywhere. Her geography of Montana is off and her descriptions of the ranch characters and their behaviors are so formulaic; the tough, unfeeling, unfeminine rancher girl, the constant use of the word "rig" to describe one's truck or car, and on and on. Again, unoriginal and predictable.

Overall, Montana Sky was easy enough to get through and not a complete waste of time. The A-List gives gives it 3.25 out of five stars.