If you have to "like" a heroine to "like" a book, then this book may be in trouble!!! Dana, the heroine of Martin's second book in the Family Tree series, is many things but likeable doesn't come to mind. For better or worse, each chapter reveals Dana--or almost always reveals--in conflict with someone. And it may be unfair, but I always found myself identifying more with the other characters, able to connect with what they are feeling, how they are seeing the scene. Dana comes across as self-centered, inconsiderate, proud, and worst of all: whiny! Dana has a poor relationship with her mother. She has a better relationship with her father, but, perhaps that is because they are so much alike. Her father is, inconsiderate, proud, and selfish too. Her father has a drinking problem, a big problem. And Dana hates her mother for speaking up about it, for telling him NOT to drink, for telling him NOT to party, for being honest. For the record, she isn't talking about her husband negatively in front of her children, but Dana has a (bad) habit of eavesdropping. These are conversations spoken when Dana should be in bed asleep. Perhaps because I connected so much with Abby in the first book, I hated to see her in this bad marriage.
Like Better To Wish, The Long Way Home has its share of drama. Better to Wish is set in Maine; The Long Way Home is set in New York City and briefly in Maine.
I think the biggest problem I had with Dana is her general philosophy: because I am oh-so-talented, because I have THIS INCREDIBLE GIFT (she's an artist), I can treat people horribly and they just have to make allowances for me because that's just how I am.
© 2013 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews