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Friday, July 11, 2008

What Matters Most by Louanne Rice

I usually enjoy Louanne Rice's books. I first read her Dream Country and was so touch by the characters. I emerged from the story bleary-eyed and satisfied. I cried over her Home Fires, I was so touched. Follow the Stars Home just about broke my heart into million little pieces. In Cloud Nine, Safe Harbour and Firefly Beach, I didn't want to stop reading, I just truly enjoyed her characters and their lives. Then I started reading The Perfect Summer and just stopped for no special reason. I think it was because I veg out on her books and needed a break.

I picked her books again with this one, and it wasn't a Louanne Rice I know. This is a story about Sister Bernadette and Tom Kelly, and of their son they left behind in Ireland, Seamus Sullivan and his love of Kathryn. For 23 years, Tom stayed near Sister Bernadette, working as a groundskeeper.

What Matters Most is not about love. It's about being true to your vocation no matter the wreckage it left behind. While Sister Bernadette might make for a good Nun, she sure sucked as a mother, and as someone who's supposed to love Tom Kelly. She's so selfish, I just want to dive into the book and slap her a little.

While she was pregnant, she received a calling from Mother Mary, which she took to mean that she has to be a Nun. Never mind that she's pregnant with Tom's child. Tom seem like a wonderful, hardworking man. She wouldn't even let Tom helped with raising their child or have much to say in what to do with him. She left the child in a convent orphanage, and not a nice one at that. Tom's family is rich and powerful and good people. What could it hurt for her to have Tom raise their child?

The story picks up from when they went back to Ireland to find their child. I just couldn't really excuse her behavior. Why didn't she let Tom raise their child? Why leave in Orphanage to suffer? It wasn't the Mother Superior who had an axe to grind that ruined their lives, it's actually her, Sister Bernadette - a selfish, self-centered woman! She's right up there my list of unlikeable heroine. The secondary story is about Seamus and Kathryn.

The story is effective, after all, Ms. Rice have managed to make Sister Bernadette so hateful. Only a talented author could draw out such emotion. Still, I wouldn't be keeping this book for re-reading. In fact, I'm sure to put this on my list of books never to be read again.

Would I recommend Louanne Rice's books? YES! Would I read more of her books? YES!
If you want story that's epic, sweeping, and magnificient, I suggest Jennifer Donnelly's The Tea Rose and The Winter Rose. There's a third book coming out, and I can't wait to read it.


  1. I just got back from Boston and am catching up on blog visits so I just saw your question about the flowers. Lots of these do not get any direct sun so they escape the most damaging light and heat. There are some hearty flowers that really thrive in direct sun and heat, even in Texas. Some of these are sunflowers, roses, plumeria.

  2. Sounds like she's a character hard to understand and sympathize with. Good starting point for an interesting book.

  3. Nice blog, I love Dan Brown or James Herbert in books.
    I like your skywatch photo and hope you are posting tonight.

    Thanks for visiting my blog and your kind comments.