On Tall Pine Lake by Dorothy Garlock

by on January 25th, 2011
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This was not one of Garlock’s better ones. In fact, I’d have to say that this is probably the worst book of hers that I’ve read so far. Which is a shame, because normally I like her books pretty well.

Just before getting ready to move, Nona gets a message from her estranged half brother asking her to hold a package for him. Thinking nothing of it, she continues on with her plans and she, an old friend Mabel, and her little sister Maggie head out to Tall Pine Lake where she will be managing a camp. Once there though, she is instantly confused and enchanted by the new owner of the camp, Simon. Simon knows that she is in danger because of her brother and he makes it his duty to keep her safe. But its hard to keep Nona safe when she’s constantly arguing with him and when bad guys are roaming the woods around the camp. It’ll be a much tougher job than Simon thinks.

With the exception of Mabel, the characters in this book are pretty pitiful. Nona has no reason for her anger and the way she lashes out at people is just weird. I can’t follow her motivations at all. And then there’s Simon, while I understand why he does what he does he just goes about it in a strange kind of controlling way. Instead of explaining things straight out he keeps secrets that don’t really need to be kept and just serve to make the plot confusing. Little sister Maggie has a small role and she’s actually a bit dumb in my opinion. I know she’s a teenager but her thought process is a little more juvenile than even that at times. There are some side characters as well which don’t really add anything. And lastly the bad guys who were polar opposites of each other and also not the smartest bunch either.

The plot was actually decent and probably would have been more enjoyable to read if the characters were decent as well. It was kind of rushed though and I think the book would have actually been more charming without all of the intrigue that Garlock brought into it. There’s some minor cussing and some harsh talk by the bad guys, but its a pretty tame book in my opinion. The romance was only so-so and I think that’s because I didn’t like the characters who were involved in the romance. In fact, I would have rather read about the older lady Mabel having romantic interludes than reading about Nona and Simon.

Ah well, I’ll still read more by Garlock but hopefully they’ll be an improvement on this one. The charm just wasn’t there this time.

On Tall Pine Lake
Copyright 2007
372 pages

Review by M. Reynard 2011


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