Year 4, Book 56

56. Becoming Finola by Suzanne Strempek Shea
I picked this book up on a whim while looking for something to read over my staycation a couple weeks ago. I forgot to request any books on my to-read list so I made a quick sweep through the library’s browsing section and found this book. I have read several non-fiction books by this author and really enjoyed them. She actually started out as a fiction writer, so I thought I should finally read one of her fiction works. I’m not sure how representative of her other fiction books this one is since in the acknowledgments she clearly states that the book is in response to someone’s request for a love story, which makes me think some of her other books aren’t. At any rate this book very much is a love story that reminded me of a hundred romantic comedy movies. In fact I am thoroughly surprised that it has not been turned into one because the plot plays out exactly like one in such a way that I knew everything that was going to happen based on conventional romantic comedy plot lines. It’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy the book, but I’m almost wishing someone would make it into a movie because I seem to stomach stuff like this better in movie form than I do book form.

At any rate the story is about a woman named Sophie who travels to a tiny town in Ireland to stay for several months with a friend who wanted to go there to get over some huge losses in her life. The friend winds up leaving after the first night there, but Sophie remains and begins to work in a shop named for Finola who all the tourists then assume she is. And of course as you would expect she eventually falls for the shop’s proprietor, Finola’s ex-boyfriend until Finola returns wanting to reclaim her life. What will happen? You can guess or you can read for yourself. I give it a 5 out of 10.

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