01 November 2010

Review: One True Theory of Love by Laura Fitzgerald

When Meg Clark married her high school sweetheart and the only guy she ever loved, she was sure she would have a happily ever after. When that same man left her on the day she told him she was pregnant, she woke from her dream. Ten years later, Meg is content in her routine of teaching kindergarten and raising her son, Henry--that is until she meets Ahmed Bourhani. Will Meg let herself take a second chance on love?

One True Theory of Love by Laura Fitzgerald is romantic women's fiction, a genre I rarely read because I often fail to lose myself in the story. This novel has, unfortunately, not changed my mind.

Although Meg had to face several realities and personal issues during the course of the novel, the ultimate ending comes as no particular surprise. At some points, it was difficult to believe that an intelligent, self-supporting, single parent could be as naive as Meg seemed to be. But she is a likable woman, and we are inclined to give her a bit of a break.

Most of Fitzgerald's principal characters were fairly well developed, but several main players were not easy to envision. In addition, some of the secondary story lines were a bit weak and hard to buy into.

On the other hand, one of the strengths of the novel is the relatively realistic pace at which Meg and Ahmed's romance moves. Meg never sacrifices her responsibilities to and love for her son in order to pursue a man. Fans of this genre will likely enjoy the novel and will find a variety of themes to hold their interest, including fidelity, trust, truthfulness, expectations, and obligations in a variety of relationships.

If you like light women's fiction, I encourage you to read the reviews at S. Krishna's Books, Books on the Brain, and Care's Online Book Club. All three of these well-read, smart women had good things to say about One True Theory of Love. Please do take the time to see another viewpoint.

I listened to the unabridged audio edition (Brilliance) read by Julia Whelan. I found her enthusiastic narration to be a good match for the children in the novel but somewhat too dramatic for my tastes. My full audio review will be available on AudioFile magazine's website within the next few weeks.

One True Theory of Love at an Indie
One True Theory of Love at Powell's
One True Theory of Love at Book Depository
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Published by New American Library, 2009
ISBN-13: 9780451225887
YTD: 97
Source: Review (see review policy)
Rating: C
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)


Sheila (Bookjourney) 11/1/10, 9:07 AM  

I am with you, this genre of books is one I read occasionally but refer to them as fluff...not a lot of substance.

I was glad to read your audio thoughts on this as I am a big audio person.

Anonymous,  11/1/10, 11:31 AM  

I'm with you and Sheila, I rarely read them and when I do I find myself annoyed with how naive the women tend to be. I'll have to head on over the your audio review.

Julie P. 11/1/10, 11:32 AM  

I'm not surprised by your reaction, although I am a little surprised you even picked it up.

tolmsted (BookSexy Review) 11/1/10, 1:14 PM  

I've never been a fan of the chick-lit genre - but I have to admit I've enjoyed a few of the books that get thrown into it. I read Jennifer Bell's "Going Down," when it came out in the 90's. I never would have classified it as a chick-lit read. (The genre actually didn't exist when it came out). Back then it was more of a "vintage" style paperback - marketed as more of an indie author. I noticed it's been re-issued with a definite chick-lit cover and thrown into that category.

Anonymous,  11/1/10, 1:59 PM  

Sounds like there's a good reason why I've left this one languishing on the shelf for so long.

Dorte H 11/1/10, 3:24 PM  

Unless there is a great crime story in it as well, I hardly ever read romance.

Sandy Nawrot 11/1/10, 3:58 PM  

I remember reading some other good reviews of this book, but it really isn't my bag. Once in awhile I get a wild hair to read something romantic, though, so I will keep this in mind if the spirit moves me.

Veens 11/1/10, 9:05 PM  

I agree sometimes these kind of books just don't work.

I enjoy some books in this genre, I do..but i will give this one a skip.

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) 11/2/10, 12:55 AM  

I second Julie's thoughts. I was a little confused to see this kind of cover on your blog.

Meg @ write meg! 11/2/10, 10:13 AM  

I often struggle with otherwise strong female characters who act in very naive ways, making me question how much I can really respect them as characters! This one sounds like a book I might enjoy, though; I'm all about light women's fiction, but hopefully with some heart!

Alice 11/2/10, 12:28 PM  

I like reading romance and if it has a good story, that's the best. This one sounds like a cross-cultural love story to me and it's something I like!

bermudaonion 11/2/10, 4:23 PM  

I'm with Julie - I'm surprised you listened to this one! I'm not sure it's for me either.

Unknown 11/2/10, 5:27 PM  

This one sounds good, but then I do enjoy some woman's fiction.

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks 11/4/10, 3:45 PM  

sorry this one didn't work for you ... it doesn't sound like my 'cup of tea' either.

I do the same - linking to reviews of well-read bloggers whose (differing or concurring) opinion I respect.

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