Genre fiction lover: Romance, Sci Fi, Fantasy, Mystery, Urban Fantasy
Ok, when I began this book, I thought I was going to love it. It is this author's retelling of Das dappelte Lottchen -- probably more commonly known by the name of the movie Hollywood called it, The Parent Trap.
It starts out great with the two 17 y.o. brothers discovering each other. Of course they trade places. The one who grew up with his cold father going to live with his loving, warm mother who lives on the continent and the other son kid traveling to England to masquerade as the heir.
The story does best when it is allowing the switched brothers react to their new environments and we watch as they interact with their unsuspecting stranger-parent. Predictably the more cynical Gareth blossoms under the demonstrative care of his mother, while the more sensitive Finian is bewildered by his stand-offish father. Also predictably, it is the mother Georgina who figures out that the son in front of her isn't one she's been raising for the past 17 years.
So they skedaddle to London to reunite and for Georgina to come face to face with the husband who hates and divorced her years ago.
Like I said, when the story centers on the plot of the boys is soars. When it has to address the love, marriage and romance between Georgina and her bitter ex-husband Ash, it stumbles.
Their long separation is based on a towering Grand Mis, where both of them come out looking rather stupid. Ash believes Georgina cheated on him with his cousin. Believes is the key word here because it isn't like he actually saw them doing anything. And she didn't really defend herself because...well...reasons.
But really, I can't see how such a loving mother could balance "reasons" with the abandonment of one of her children and the reality that she would most likely never see him again. Honestly, I could never reconcile that part of it in when I watched the Parent Trap movies either, but they were Disney and supposedly "feel good hijinks" so you gloss over it. This book though is all angst and despair about it.
When the truth comes out the whole things feel rather rushed and convenient and ultimately unsatisfying. Not enough time was spent on repairing the relationship, imo. It was all "Oh hey I was wrong? Well shit! I still love you, let's get back together!"
I wish it had really spent much more time on those two and let them work out their issues. As it was, I frankly thought Georgina had a bit more chemistry with the plot device man she had been contemplating marrying before she had to return to London. I would have liked to watch Ash & Georgina fall in love again and I would have liked to see all four of them integrate into a family unit. But too much time was spent on a rather cartoonish villain who was trying to keep them apart.
A bit of a disappointment.