Buttermilk Sky by Jan Watson (Tyndale House, September 2014)
Weary of the expectations imposed on her by her strict upbringing, eighteen-year-old Mazy Pelfrey prepares to leave her home in the Kentucky mountains for the genteel city of Lexington, where she’ll attend secretarial school. She knows her life is about to change–and only for the better. Everything will be blue skies from now on.But business school is harder than she thought it would be and the big city not as friendly, until she meets a charming young man from a wealthy family, Loyal Chambers. When Loyal sets his sights on her, Mazy begins to see that everything she’d ever wished to have is right before her eyes. The only hindrance to her budding romance is a former beau, Chanis Clay, the young sheriff she thought she’d left firmly behind.Danger rumbles like thunder on a high mountain ridge when Mazy’s cosseted past collides with her clouded future and forces her to come to terms with what she really wants.
Reading opens a vast world to those who hold books in their hands; sometimes those worlds and characters resonate, but other times they do not. With as many books as I tend to read in a year, I suppose I am bound to come across a few that will not make my favorites list. Buttermilk Sky, while sweet and endearing, is unfortunately for me a book that I will not be recommending to other readers or re-reading.
Jan Thompson included many elements that I enjoy in historical fiction, such as a heroine who dreams of something more, along with a timeframe that excites with danger and bravery. Nevertheless, Buttermilk Sky is a character-driven novel that moves at such a slow pace I found it difficult to remain engaged in the story. I never connected with the characters because so little conflict and tension occurred that their development was never allowed to flourish.
The structure of Buttermilk Sky leaves little to be desired. Along with the slow pacing–in itself is not a negative aspect of story-telling, but there must be conflict if an author is going to write a successful character driven novel–Watson only tells–never shows–what happens in her story. This choice leaves readers one step outside of Buttermilk Sky, with only the last few pages detailing any sort of conflict and resolution.
Rating: 2 stars
FTC Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher with the purpose of sharing my review. I was not compensated for this review, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.