Thanks to NetGalley and Doubleday Books for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: Available Now
Synopsis: When Nancy and her family arrive in Kona, Hawaii, they are desperate for a fresh start. Nancy’s husband has cheated on her; they sleep in separate bedrooms and their twin sons have been acting out, setting off illegal fireworks. But Hawaii is a paradise: they plant an orange tree in the yard; they share a bed once again and Nancy resolves to make a happy life for herself. She starts taking a yoga class and there she meets Ana, the charismatic teacher. Ana has short, black hair, a warm smile, and a hard-won wisdom that resonates with Nancy. They are soon spending all of their time together, sharing dinners, relaxing in Ana’s hot tub, driving around Kona in the cute little car Ana helps Nancy buy. As Nancy grows closer and closer to Ana, skipping family dinners and leaving the twins to their own devices, she knows that she will do anything Ana asks of her.
Given the rating above, it probably will come as no great surprise that The Goddesses just was not my cup of tea. When I first saw the publisher’s blurb saying it was a cross between The Descendants and Single White Female, I was so excited. But it wound up not being anything like I expected.
I know I tend to go on and on about being able to connect to characters, but honestly, this is one of the first things I look for in a story. Here, I disliked everyone, with the exception of Nancy’s seventeen-year-old twin sons, Jed and Cam. While they were troublemakers, this was in response to their parents self-absorption and neglect. Most of the time I found them sweet and funny, and kept thinking that Nancy and Chuck didn’t deserve to have them as children. Actually, disliked might be too strong a word for my feelings toward everyone else. They were all just so boring, with little to no personality. Nancy and her adulterous husband Chuck, are cardboard cutouts of a married couple. Nancy especially drove me crazy with her judgmental attitude and neglect of her sons. She completely ignores her own shortcomings which made it absolutely impossible for me to emphasize with her. The only thing I can give them kudos for was the way they handled their son Cam’s coming out to them. And Ana, who I was expecting all sorts of exciting villainy from, was equally banal. When the book finally got around to revealing her motivations, it was completely predictable and left me thinking “That’s it? I stuck with this book for this?!”
As for the plot, instead of being an exciting thriller, it was more like wading through quicksand. I kept reading. I kept waiting. But nothing happened. Okay, there’s a little twist near the end, but it’s nothing inspiring, and even worse, there’s no real climax, and there’s no realistic resolution.
The only reason why I’m giving The Goddesses 1 1/2 stars is because I did love Jed and Cam, and I liked the setting of Kona, Hawaii, but even the beautiful setting was spoiled for me due to the utter lack of diversity. As always, I recommend that you check out other reviews before making up your mind if you want to try this. As for me, I don’t think I’ll be trying anything else by Swan Huntley.
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