Hello lovelies! I’ve risen from the ashes. New name. New mindset. And its not even the new year.
I’ve been away from blogging for a while and deleted more posts than I’ve kept this year. Things have just been difficult as I try to find my blogging stride and tried to understand what I even wanted this blog to be about. Not saying I’ve got it all figured out but I’m on the way.
I’m trying to catch-up on all the wonderful eARCs I’ve received from Netgalley and I decided this one had to come first, In Calabria.
When I saw this book, my heart skipped a beat. It had nothing to do with the author, the title, or even the description. It was all about that cover. The Hunt of the Unicorn, which is a set of seven tapestries from the Middle Ages, is one of my favorite pieces of art. The cover of In Calabria features one of those tapestries, one of my favorites (of course). Then I saw it was by the same author who wrote the Last Unicorn. I never read the book but I’ve heard rave reviews and always meant to. Given the author’s reputation and the cover, I was desperate to read this one. It wasn’t even available to request so I added it to my wishlist. When I got the e-mail that I had been randomly granted this book off my wishlist, I squealed.
Unfortunately, the joy died down after that. I started reading it and basically had to force myself through the most of the book. It was a well-structured story about a cranky, self-isolated man who finds a unicorn has chosen his farm to inhabit. They form a relationship, which he writes extensive poetry about. However, my interest of the rest of the story ends after that. He falls in love with a women half his age who conveniently loves him back. The press finds out about his unicorn problem and refuses to leave him alone. I thought I was getting a story about the magical relationship between a man and a unicorn who makes him see life in a new way. Which is what happens. However, its surrounded by a lot of other nonsense which didn’t need to be there in my opinion.
In Calabria would have been stronger if the unnecessary romantic relationship and the persistent press had been removed from the story. What would have been left is a magical relationship about a unicorn choosing a cranky man who needed to be reminded how beautiful life could be. After years of shutting himself away and refusing to form relationships, this unicorn makes him feel like a person worthy of love and trust again. The rest going on around this central story made it feel less important and magical. At one point, it honestly felt like the unicorn didn’t even matter anymore, the love interest had taken the central focus.
While I can see what a wonderful book this is in another light, it was not what I had been looking for. Therefore, I find myself disappointed in the outcome. I do want to read some of his other books and come back to this one in the future. I think I could enjoy this under different circumstances and with altered expectations.
Overall, the story itself gets a 2/5 stars but that cover made me bump it up to a 3/5 stars. Also the fact that I knew I was being more critical because I had unrealistic expectations about the book because it was using a piece of The Hunt of the Unicorn. This book is scheduled to come out February 14, 2017.
Until next time lovelies!