Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Hello Stranger by Katherine Center Book Review

About the Book:

Love isn’t blind, it’s just a little blurry.

Sadie Montgomery never saw what was coming . . . Literally! One minute she’s celebrating the biggest achievement of her life―placing as a finalist in the North American Portrait Society competition―the next, she’s lying in a hospital bed diagnosed with a “probably temporary” condition known as face blindness. She can see, but every face she looks at is now a jumbled puzzle of disconnected features. Imagine trying to read a book upside down and in another language. This is Sadie’s new reality with every face she sees.

But, as she struggles to cope, hang on to her artistic dream, work through major family issues, and take care of her beloved dog, Peanut, she falls into―love? Lust? A temporary obsession to distract from the real problems in her life?―with not one man but two very different ones. The timing couldn’t be worse.

If only her life were a little more in focus, Sadie might be able to find her way. But perceiving anything clearly right now seems impossible. Even though there are things we can only find when we aren’t looking. And there are people who show up when we least expect them. And there are always, always other ways of seeing. Photo credit: Skylar Reeves Photography. 

My Review:

This is the first novel I have read by Center and was pleasantly surprised. The novel is a slow build with a methodically developing plot yet I found the end very touching. Center's writing style is good and kept me reading. I did appreciate the surprising plot twist near the end.

I did not find Sadie, the main character, engaging. She seemed immature and overly defensive. Her initial attitude toward people offering help was appalling. That meant I did not feel so much sympathy when she experienced her brain issue.

I do like to learn something when I read a novel and in this one it was about facial blindness. I liked Center's explanatory note about the condition at the end, and her thoughts on how we know others and, in fact, what knowing someone really means.

I am not a romance novel reader. Give me a good mystery every time. But I really appreciate the Author's Note about romance novels, their lure and why Center wrote them. That was very enlightening and gave me a greater appreciation for a genre I have basically ignored.

This is a good novel for readers who like an informative and entertaining romance that explores how we know others and what it means to be known.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

About the Author:

 calls Katherine Center “the reigning queen of comfort reads.” She’s the New York Times bestselling author of over half a dozen books, including How to Walk AwayThings You Save in a Fire, and What You Wish For. Katherine writes laugh-and-cry books about how life knocks us down—and how we get back up. She’s been compared to both Jane Austen and Nora Ephron, and the Dallas Morning News calls her stories, “satisfying in the most soul-nourishing way.” Her books have made countless Best-Of lists, including RealSimple’s Best Books of 2020, Amazon's Top 100 Books of 2019, Goodreads' Best Books of the Year, and many more. Bestselling author Emily Henry calls her summer 2022 book, The Bodyguard, “a shot of pure joy.” The movie adaptation of Katherine’s novel The Lost Husband (starring Josh Duhamel) hit #1 on Netflix, and her novel Happiness for Beginners is in production now as a Netflix original starring Ellie Kemper. Katherine lives in her hometown of Houston, Texas, with her husband, two kids, and their fluffy-but-fierce dog.

St. Martin's Press, 336 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

No comments: