Thursday, March 13, 2008

Dakota Born by Debbie Macomber

I have run across Debbie Macomber's name again and again. She is a terribly prolific author. She is also a very well-advertised author. Her name comes up in romance, in mystery, in general fiction. I even received a packet in the mail advertising her various series. But, until now, I had never read one of her books.
My mom gave me Dakota Born. Like me she grew curious about Macomber after seeing her books everywhere. For my mom, the choice of book was obvious - having grown up in South Dakota she was curious to see how an author would write about it today. There were moments in the story when my mother said it was obvious Macomber was not from the Dakotas herself. There were factual elements that just did not ring true.
Not knowing that world the same way my mom does, I didn't notice the factual problems. However, I did grow up with the impression that someone from South Dakota would not consider themselves from "the Dakotas." They had allegiance to their state, but not to those other people up north. Macomber tended to combine the two as though there were one state, one allegiance, one type of people.
The book for me was one of the quickest reads I have had in a long time. In part, it was quick because I was genuinely interested in characters and wanted to know where the story was going. I happily picked up the book whenever I had a spare moment yesterday to read. However, the book was also a quick read because it was not exactly deep. The story revolves around a handful of couples all suffering from typical romance story problems - miscommunication being the prime suspect. There were moments when I was reading when I just wanted to slap the characters and tell them not to be so thick-skulled or dim-witted.
It took me just over 24 hours to read Dakota Born and at 384 pages with my kids home yesterday and a two hour break in the middle for gymnastics class, it was light. If someone handed me another Debbie Macomber book, I would happily read it. The story was enjoyable. However, I don't think I would go out of my way to buy one of her books. There are many other fascinating things on my shelf that take precedence.

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