Monday, July 4, 2011

Canary Island Song by Robin Jones Gunn

It's been six years since Carolyn lost her husband. She has kept her heart imprisoned in her private grief ever since. It is only when Carolyn's grown daughter tells her to get a life that she decides a change of scenery is in order. She decides to travel to her mother's home in the Canary Islands. Her mother's Spanish ancestors had been on the island for 200 years. The family came to the states when her mother was fourteen. Her mother and one aunt married men from the United States. The rest of the family moved back to the Canary Islands.
Carolyn is reminded of a summer romance, another teen spending a summer vacation in Las Palmas. She had succumbed to his advances the last night he was there and it had ruined everything.
And then she meets him again, Bryan, at her mother's birthday party. He apologizes to her for his actions all those years ago. But he is just getting ready to fly back to his home.
Carolyn stays with her mother. She goes for a swim. She goes to buy some groceries and stops for a pedicure and manicure on the way.
Bryan comes back to the Island, needing to complete some business. Then Carolyn's daughter decides to come. Her relationship with her boyfriends is stagnant and she needs a break. Carolyn struggles with having to share her mother's attention.
Carolyn, with her mom and daughter, go to a flamenco dancing lesson. Carolyn has somewhat of a spiritual experience at the dance lesson and has hope.
Will Carolyn and her daughter find lasting love?

Sometimes the writing is kind of boring. When Carolyn went shopping for groceries: “The store was similar to grocery stores back home.” (129) There is limited dialogue as much of the book is description of the Island and its customs. This book is not plot driven. It is a travel book disguised as a novel. If you want a moment by moment description of life, eating out, taking dancing lessons, etc., this book is for you. I'd not plan on reading it if you are looking for a page turning romance.
At the back of the book, Gunn shares pictures of her own travels to the islands.  She has also added questions for reading groups.

I received an egalley of this book from Howard (Simon & Schuster) for the purpose of this review.
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