Saturday, February 23, 2013
Book Review: Picture Perfect by Janice Thompson
As Hannah prepares for the wedding, she is thrown into Drew's path repeatedly and is shocked to find out that he is not quite the arch nemesis she thought, and it not bad looking either :-) Will she be able to let go of the doubts from the past holding her back and forge a picture perfect future?
I very rarely have major issues with a book; I'm generally easy to please. However, this was the wrong book for me to have as a reader because in this book Hannah McDermott is "Irish" and since I am from Ireland, I could barely read it, the "Irish-ness" was so corny. I groaned outwardly at the stereo types, and granted not everything was wrong, but my husband read the first chapter and asked me why I would even keep going. I feel bad because the story itself wasn't bad - I really like when the story continues a little after the couple gets together, but it was hard for me to get past the awful references to my culture :-(
Here are some corrections - Probably the most important one is that people who are actually from Ireland generally roll their eyes and groan at Americans who are "Irish." I consider my own kids "American" since they were born here like the girl in the story AND her father. While I know Italian families who are like the family in the story whose culture is rich and passed on and they do seem to use a lot of Italian even though they weren't born there, Irish families aren't really like that.
We never refer to our families as clans and are not really that into our lineage. When I asked my dad what he knew about our ancestors he said, "They're dead." We love to be Irish and Heaven help you if you say anything against us, but beyond that most people don't even know more than the chorus - actually the first line, of our national anthem.
The Irish language is only spoken fluently by a very small minority of the country and so the chances of a second generation Irish person not born in Ireland going off on rants in Irish is very small. I had to learn Irish for all of my schooling up through high school and beyond the odd phrase I hardly ever use it and forget almost all I learned. (I will give her that the Irish she did use was translated and spelled correctly though).
And most importantly we NEVER say "top 'o the morning to ya."
However, if you are not from Ireland, these things probably won't bother you the same way they did me, so you will probably enjoy it. The story itself is ok and there are some good spiritual thoughts too. It just happened to hit on a raw nerve.
Thank you to Revell Publishers for a free copy of this book to review.
Available February 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
ps - if you want to hear some real Irish sayings, in real Irish accents, these are the ones I grew up with :-)