Last week my husband and I spent our time in a tropical paradise, Punta Cana, in the Dominican Republic. It wasn't our first visit to this beautiful country. We loved it so much we decided to go back again this year. We weren't disappointed. The bumpy roads have improved a smidgeon, the folks are still amazingly friendly and wanted our American dollars very much. We took a few excursions ~ a truck safari to a cocoa and coffee plantation, and then a catamaran trip where much dancing and rum drinking took place. We suffered through it admirably.
While relaxing on the beach and later at the long winding pool, I took notice of what other vacationers were reading. On any given day I heard a half dozen languages being spoken and was pleased to see readers among every nationality. I was surprised to see only one e-book being used during the week. I searched every day to see if this 'new' way of reading was as wide spread as I keep hearing. One, that's the total for the week at a resort where hundreds of people stayed.
Hardback books were not a strong showing either, although I did see as many as five on any given day. The paperback won the Gold Medal for readers. It's no surprise and reassures me the paper book is alive and well.
Each day I mozied through lounge chairs checking out titles and authors on the many paperbacks. I tried to take mental note of who the favorites were, but I blame the rum for confusing my tally, so I will say mysteries probably won the Gold, but it could have come down to a photo finish against the romance genre.
I'm always surprised how quickly I devour a book when not trying to dissect it or edit it, but simply enjoy the story. I raced through the two I brought with me, and then traded them in at the book exchange at the fresh towels stand. My next read was a mystery suspense, a classic really, by Ed McBain (Evan Hunter) called "Killer's Wedge," first published in 1959. I was disappointed in the plot, the problem was I didn't believe the feasibility of the characters. It's a cop story and the cops acted like wimps. We were watching the Olympics while on vacation, so I have to say "Killer's Wedge" did not take home a medal.
Back to the towel stand and a new book I grabbed what I knew would be a fun and fabulous read. I'd been wanting to read more from this writer but had never gotten around to it. This book was published in 2005 with the title "Julie and Romeo Get Lucky," a spinoff from her bestselling book of "Julie & Romeo." I laughed out loud only a few pages into it and my husband wondered what was so amusing. "You gotta read this book!" I said, laughing again. I was on page six. By page twelve I had the giggles.
Julie, the main character, owns a flower shop, has a houseful living with her, a daughter, son-in-law, a grandson, a pet cat, and an eight year old granddaughter who is obsessed with winning the lottery. She's busy, she's devoted to her family and in love with Romeo, her competition in the flower business. She's sixty-three years old and sneaking around with her lover as if she was sixteen. She's a character I could read every day and not tire of her. Jeanne Ray wins the Gold for best book I read during my vacation.
I enjoyed our days in paradise and the respite it offered, plus the chance to read for leisure. Julie & Romeo are characters that linger after the book is done. Do you recall any characters like that? Share with us.
Til next time ~