Saturday, April 12, 2014

Irongate by Ronald Glanz

This novel centers around old family secrets. Rich, in his mid-forties, has lost his job as an engineer. That was after his messy divorce resulting in an ex-wife and kids who hate him. He's at his parents and visits the Eastwick Mansion that has been turned into a museum. He sees a photo that triggers a memory from childhood. He manages to get a job at the Mansion as a handyman, develops a relationship with, Patricia, the divorced woman managing it, and works at finding the truth about a rumor concerning Grandpa Louis and Grandma Flossie and their marriage (whether Grandpa married on the rebound, having loved an Eastwick first).

I found this novel difficult to read. There is lots of “cussing” by Rich's parents. I knew ahead of time there would be language issues but was told they were essential to the story. They were not. Why such language was included I have no idea.

The plot is thin but it did make for a nice romance in the end. There is a nice parallel drawn between Rich's grandfather's romance and Rich's own. At the end of the novel that comes out well.

The relationships between the characters is unusual. There are lots and lots of puns, sarcasm, odd comments, and “Got ya”s. I tired quickly of the banter. Rich's ex-wife is vindictive and mean. The relationship between Rich's parents, in their seventies, is sort of a caustic one. Even the budding romance between Rich and Patricia develops through dialog that is mostly teasing.

Probably most difficult for me was the writing style of the author. “Two minutes later the beeper on the microwave went off informing him that the predetermined time he had entered had expired.” (54) “Thirty-seven minutes later...” (147) It just did not seem to flow nor read well for me.

Even though I received this novel through an group that promotes Christian books and authors, I would not consider this novel to be “Christian.”

There is a great deal of information in this novel, about the Eastwick Mansion and the Eastwick family, World War I, and an Edison Phonograph. Since there is no Author's Note, I have no idea if any of it is based on actual history or if some or all of it was created by the author.

Ronald Glanz received his Bachelor of Science in mechanical Engineering from Rose Polytechnic Institute in 1967. His working years as an engineer caused him to travel throughout the world. He loves writing, antiques, and sports cars. He and his wife live in Mineral, Virginia.

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 288 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through the Book Group Network for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
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