Not for me

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akaleistar Avatar


After reading an excerpt of Gary Dickson's novel, An Improbable Pairing, I was excited to win a copy from BookishFirst. Sadly, the book did not hold my attention the way the first couple of chapters did.

The premise is interesting. It's 1963, and a young, American college student, Scott, heads to Switzerland to attend graduate school. While traveling, he meets a French divorcee and countess, Desiree.

They are an improbable pairing, but not for the reasons you might think. In the novel, a big deal is made of the fact that she is older than him, but this is no May-December romance. Scott is in his early twenties and Desiree is only seven years older. To me, a much bigger obstacle to their romance is their differences in class, culture, and religion.

However, for me, the biggest obstacle to enjoying this book was the writing style and lack of character development. The style is very much this happened and then this happened. There is no beautiful language to get lost in or descriptions that engage the senses. The style really holds the characters back, too, as they are pretty much only given a list of actions to do.

While this novel wasn't for me, I don't want to discourage other readers from reading this. We all have different tastes, and this book might be a winner for someone else.