Friday, September 16, 2022

How Important Are The Details?


About the Book:

Kyle Davies is doing fine. She has her routine, after all, ingrained in her from years of working as a baker: wake up, make breakfast, prep the dough, make lunch, work the dough, make dinner, bake dessert, go to bed. Wash, rinse, repeat. It's a good routine. Comforting. Almost enough to help her forget the scars on her wrist, still healing from when she slit it a few weeks ago; that she lost her job at the bakery when she checked herself in as an inpatient at Hope House; then signed away all decisions about her life, medical care, and wellbeing to Dr. Booth (who may or may not be a hack). So, yeah, Kyle's doing just fine.

Except that a new item's been added to her daily to-do list recently: stare out her window at the coffee shop (named, well...The Coffee Shop) across the street, and its hot owner, Jackson. It's healthy to have eye candy when you're locked in the psych ward, right? Something low risk to keep yourself distracted. So when Dr. Booth allows Kyle to leave the facility--two hours a day to go wherever she wants--she decides to up the stakes a little more. Why not visit? Why not see what Jackson's like in person?

Turns out that Jackson's a jerk with a heart of gold, a deadly combination that Kyle finds herself drawn to more than she should be. (Aren't we all?) At a time when Dr. Booth delivers near-constant warnings about the dangers of romantic entanglements, Kyle is pulled further and further into Jackson's orbit. At first, the feeling of being truly taken care of is bliss, like floating on a wave. But at a time when Kyle is barely managing her own problems, she finds herself suddenly thrown into the deep end of someone else's. Dr. Booth may have been right after all: falling in love may be the thing that sends Kyle into a backslide she might never be able to crawl out of. Is Jackson too much for her to handle? Does love come at the cost of sanity?

My Comments:

I'm officially tired of writing book reviews. Bet you couldn't guess that if you look on my sidebar and see how many I published back in the day vs recently.  Still I'm not ready to give up this space or my NetGalley account so...

I enjoyed this book.  Its strength was the two main characters, particularly Kyle.  The story is told through her eyes, but we also know she recently tried to commit suicide, so her observations were always a little suspect.  Still I enjoyed watching her interact, grow and change throughout the book.  Grade: B.

Let's Talk About Details:

Does it aggravate you when authors get details wrong?  I realize that no one can be an expert in everything and that authors are experts in, well....writing.  I get that given my age and my profession (paralegal) I have a lot of knowledge of particular fields that may not be common knowledge to average people.  But still, it seems to me that if you are going to include a detail in your work, you ought to get it right.

Kyle spends most of this book living at Hope House which seems to be a sort of step down from a mental hospital.  She cannot come and go at will.  Nurses check on her regularly around the clock. The other people living there are mental patients as well. There is a security guard at the door who can be summoned if there is a problem.  A psychiatrist, Dr. Booth, is in charge.  He does regular counselling with the patients but also prescribes medications. 

However, it is Kyle who cooks for the residents, not once in a while, but every meal.  She plans the meals, orders the ingredients and cooks. That's fine, she's a culinary school trained pastry chef, but what about when she leaves, or who did it before she got there?  True, the number of patients in the house is small, so it is like cooking for a family rather than an institution-sized crowd but that did not ring true. Still, I'm not an expert on treating mental illness, maybe that is a normal part of treatment.  

However, I do know enough about mental health treatment to know that psychiatrists don't do talk therapy these days.  Their job is medication managment.  Dr. Booth did that job and the job that would be done by a social worker or therapist of some sort. On the other hand, I'm sure it worked better for the plot to have one person as the authority/treatment figure, as opposed to the team that would be more realistic. 

At one point in the book Kyle is baking goods for sale to restaurants.  Great--except that she is doing it from her apartment kitchen which I'm sure would not pass any of the requirements for a commercial kitchen.  

I'm not trying to pick on Amy Watson in particular, I see a lot of things in books and on other media that are just plain wrong.  Have you every seen a movie or TV show set in New Orleans where everyone speaks with a Scarlett O'Hara drawl?  Well, fyi, that drawl would instantly label you as "not from here" in New Orleans.  We sound a lot like the people from Brooklyn or Savannah (yes, people from Savannah GA sound more like they are from New York or New Orleans they like they are from Atlanta--its a port city accent.  

As a paralegal I have great insight into how the court system works, and I can tell you it is a lot more exciting on TV than in real life--and I get that no TV audience is going to sit there while a judge reads jury charges (most judges in real life lock the doors when they are being read to keep the jury paying attention to them), but it still annoys me when an author has the characters attending a deposition in a criminal case (there have to be very extraordinary circumstances for one to be held in a criminal case but they are a normal part of civil cases) or when lawsuits are filed and then tried a couple of months later (chances are good that the defendant is just getting around to filing an answer at that point). 

How often do you read books where you find the author got details wrong, whether those details were geographic, dealt with your area of expertise or were things you thought were common knowledge?  Does it affect your enjoyment of the book?  

1 comment:

  1. It often happens to me that I read books where the author gets the details wrong and they usually bug me. I am reading a book right now set in Seattle area, where I live. The author referred to the ocean (Pacific) but the body of water off of Seattle is the Puget Sound, specifically Elliott Bay. The Pacific Ocean is miles away, across the Olympic Mountain range. Later the author did mention the Puget Sound, so she got it eventually but hadn't gone back and corrected her first comment. Sigh.

    Audiobook mispronunciation is another thing I notice. Place names are often pronounced a particular way in the area and the narrator and the publisher of the audiobook should do their homework to find out how to pronounce place names. An example that seems to come up here in the PacNW is mispronouncing Spokane as Spoke-cane instead of correctly Spoke-can.

    Good topic.

    I'm looking for an opportunity to discuss our random thoughts: Random Thoughts #1


View My Stats