Author: Fenton Grace
Genre: Contemporary Romance?
Recommended For: Readers who love stories that push traditional social limits
Source: Complimentary e-book
One-sentence review: While this story of 32-year old widow Laney Secord's love triangle with a 16-year old and his father is definitely an interesting (albeit limit-pushing) premise, it lacked the emotional support and character depth to pull it off successfully.
TBR It: Goodreads
Buy It: Amazon
I received a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
Fenton Grace's Monday, Sunday chronicles the sordid love affairs of 32-year old widow Laney Secord. Laney's husband passed away shortly after she had an affair with his best friend leaving her incredibly guilt-ridden and empty as she tries to raise their seven-year old son alone. When 16-year old Eagle Scout Christopher comes to Laney's door asking for donations and ends up kissing her, it kickstarts a messy turn of events she wasn't expecting, including Chrisopher's father, Bill, showing interest in her as well.
I wanted to read this book because the storyline was so controversial I knew Fenton Grace must have had an excellent plan of executing such a boundary-pushing topic. While Grace's writing is skilled mechanically, unfortunately I felt the execution missed the mark and I finished this book feeling underwhelmed. I never felt anything emotionally from Laney that could justify her lust for a 16-year old boy and I never felt any connection between her and Bill to justify him even being a part of this story other than for an added complication.
Overall the characters felt very one-dimensional, which is somewhat understandable since this is from Laney's point of view, but even she felt somewhat sterile and mechanical. I wouldn't even classify this as any type of true "love story" because I didn't feel any emotions other than perhaps Laney's emotional void, if that counts. This void is understandable given her husband's death and everything but I couldn't connect the dots of justifying either relationship with Christopher or Bill. The only thing I felt from Christopher and Bill is lust and perhaps intrigue, like Laney was something fun to explore at the moment. I'm sure all of this could be deeply analyzed, but unfortunately I was too underwhelmed by the conclusion to care.
All of that isn't to say it's a bad book just because I didn't enjoy the storytelling: the prose is well-written and Grace is clearly a skilled writer. Furthermore, even though I didn't think the overall story was executed well enough, I still think the content raises great discussions. It's a story that is sure to make most readers uncomfortable, especially because Laney isn't black and white; she isn't all good or all bad. It's easy enough to put ourselves in Laney's shoes and see how she gets where she does. While we may not all make the same choices as she does, we can agree she is a fairly average and relatable person. Furthermore, this story helps us examine our own values systems against Laney's and also examine our need for love, lust and adventure to take us out of the monotony of life. It asks the question what lines are we willing to cross to fill either of those voids.
While this book wasn't necessarily my favorite, I think it may still be enjoyed by many who like something out of the ordinary. It's a very quick read and as I mentioned, well-written. If you think you may like to examine the mind of Laney Secord, I think you should definitely give it a read!