Thursday, May 25, 2017

Mia Sheridan - Archer's Voice

When Bree Prescott arrives in the sleepy, lakeside town of Pelion, Maine, she hopes against hope that this is the place where she will finally find the peace she so desperately seeks. On her first day there, her life collides with Archer Hale, an isolated man who holds a secret agony of his own. A man no one else sees.
Archer's Voice is the story of a woman chained to the memory of one horrifying night and the man whose love is the key to her freedom. It is the story of a silent man who lives with an excruciating wound and the woman who helps him find his voice. It is the story of suffering, fate, and the transformative power of love.

Comment: I had this book in the pile for some time now but only picked it up now because it was chosen for one the book clubs I (try to) participate in, even if not always I can get the books chosen. Because I had this one, I did my best to add it to this month's list.

In this story we get to know Bree Prescott, a young woman who moved temporarily to a small town in Maine after an awful time in Ohio. She doesn't have good memories of her hometown because her father was murdered and the man who committed the crime tried to assault Bree.
In this new town, Bree manages to find some friendly people, she gets a job and she even starts up a friendship with a person most people consider weird and deaf but who is simply mute. The two have a similar past of family sadness, they both lost their parents and because they both know sign language, they start being together and it's easy to evolve to a stronger relationship. But Archer hasn't much experience being with others and has always preferred solitude. Can these two be a couple and face life together?

Overall, I can say I liked reading this book and that the main subjects dealt with - namely the way we react at a big loss and the prejudice of others who don't always put themselves in out shoes - were well done here. My opinion, of course.
To me, the biggest issue comes from the little details which I couldn't let go of when I was reading. I especially couldn't ignore the character's age. Yes, it's not such a big deal and it's not something always on your face but somehow I tend to prefer when characters are a bit older.Then there's the romance aspects and the HEA considerations...being older myself always makes me doubt the believability of a HEA when characters aren't yet in their late 20s at least. I know it's prejudice, after all many people get together and marry young and can be perfectly happy but...I tend to associate younger ages to immaturity, even if here it wasn't the case.

There are also some cliché scenes in this novel, in particular when it comes to Archer's experiences in the town, for instance he has a cousin who misleads him at a social gathering. I bet it's very common and mean people always play stupid and harming pranks but... Archer didn't have social experience but I kind of hoped he was more clever assessing his cousin's words and actions especially when he had been "pranked" and bullied by him in their childhood.

Bree and Archer's relationship is probably the strongest element in the novel and from them being friends originates all the emotional changes and evolution for them both, including how they manage to share their past experiences with one another and how that affected them in their behavior, expectations, hopes for the future...
The beginning of their relationship was very sweet and it was very good to see their friendship develop, it felt sweet and credible. Then intimacy happened and while I understand and accept the strength of being together like that and being connected more closely, it kind of distracted the reader because too much emotion of even their feelings were mixed up with sex and that made some scenes look slightly less emotional.

As a whole, this is a good story and it flows pretty easily but personally, I'd have preferred a slight change in the focus of some things. Just to make the story feel a bit more cute and less physical.
But overall, that was ok, we still got to see the emotional journey developing and it was quite amazing.
The epilogue was very sweet and cute, that was for sure, so I kind of feel better about grading this book for that alone.
Grade: 7/10

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