3.16.2010

Book Review: Fireworks Over Toccoa

Fireworks Over Toccoa by Jeffrey Stepakoff

When I was offered a review edition of this novel (due out March 30) from St. Martin's, I took one look at that lovely cover and agreed!

However, the lovely cover didn't quite live up to my expectations of this novel.

Set in the waning days of World War II, Lily is anticipating the return of her soldier husband (whom she hurriedly married before he shipped out) when a chance encounter leads her to fall for Jake Russo, a fireworks maker just passing through her Southern town of Toccoa.

Predictably, they have a heady few days together and Lily falls head over heels, but what of her husband? This novel is very reminiscent of Bridges of Madison County, and lots of those sickly sweet Nicholas Sparks books that I tend to abhor. I did like the setting Stepakoff evokes - the kudzu, a summer storm, the fireworks in the sky, but much of the writing just didn't really "sing" to me.

This is a love story from a bygone time, and many will find great comfort and pleasure in escaping to Toccoa for a few hours - while I'm glad I read the novel, it just wasn't the explosion of fireworks I was hoping it would be for me...

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