Fireworks Over Toccoa by Jeffrey Stepakoff
Thomas Dunne Books - Fiction/Historical
I just finished Fireworks Over Toccoa and, since I'm still well and truly "behind" on my reviewing, I figure I should go ahead and knock this review out while the story is fresh in my mind.
In Toccoa, Georgia, Colleen is preparing to marry. But, she feels that something is missing. How can she not feel excited about marrying Drew? He's practically perfect and he has just bought the two of them a stunning dream house that fits her desires for a home so completely it's almost creepy.
Across town, Colleen's grandmother Lily has just seen something shocking in the newspaper -- a remnant from her past. She asks Colleen to take her to see the new display in the museum at the old railroad station. There, Lily surprises the curator and Colleen by describing the meaning of two artifacts behind glass. Lily tells Colleen and the curator the story of how she came to own a crumpled piece of paper, now framed, in the first place . . . about the two days of stolen love while she waited for her husband to come home from WWII and how the crumpled paper was lost.
I won't spoil the ending by telling what happened and why, but I will say the book reminded me of The Bridges of Madison County, just a bit. And, in that way, I must say I wasn't thrilled; the whole "passion while the husband is away" thing kind of makes my skin crawl. An affair is not something I can swallow as beautiful and heart-tugging, no matter how pretty you paint it. I find the whole idea more sad than moving. And, yet, I enjoyed the book, simply because I was in the mood for an easily digestible read and Fireworks Over Toccoa fit the bill.
In general, the writing is nothing outstanding. No Post-its were used to mark lovely passages and there was nothing overly special or memorable about the story but I liked it and I don't regret reading the book, although I would not ever read it again.
3/5 - An average but palatable story of a brief love affair at the end of WWII, with a nice theme of following your heart. Unremarkable but pleasantly light reading. I would rate it PG-13 to R for some sex scenes that are only mildly graphic.
I'm going to attempt to crank out a few more reviews, while it's quiet in the house. Then, since most of the blogging world seems to have vamoosed to New York City for Book Expo America, I'm hoping that I'll find the time to visit with those who were left behind, this week. Happy Sunday!