Despite my fears that after having a baby it would be years before I could read again, I was actually able to read a book before the semester started! Beneath the Apples Leaves was my first foray into “genre fiction” in I don’t know how long. Years and years. It was a gift. It was there. And so, during one of the baby’s long naps, I picked it up and started reading.
The characters fulfilled the strictest and most obvious gender expectations. The plot lines and their resolutions could be spotted from a mile away. I found myself skimming through the first quarter of the book, getting through the basic (and, again, predictable) background information as quickly as possible.
After that, though, I was surprised at myself when I started to slow down, the details engaging me a bit more. In fact, toward the end, I’d even refer to this book as an enjoyable “page turner”!
So, despite it’s obvious shortcomings as a piece of Literature, it was worth reading for me for the following reasons:
-It took me back to my high school days when I read so many Victoria Holt books, an experience which, I swear, has allowed me to understand, predict, and analyze plot lines like no other. While reading this book, I had a tinge of nostalgia for the time when I was reading Holt’s novels and being immersed in place, a house, a setting.
-Similarly, Beneath the Apple Leaves creates a setting–a quaint, if dilapidated, Pennsylvania farm. Even when the characters fell short, I enjoyed “being” at the farm.
-It’s entertaining. While much of the plot is predictable, there are many twists and turns that kept me reading. It’s similar to watching a romantic comedy in that way. I don’t watch them often, but sometimes they’re entertaining.
-I like to keep my finger on the pulse. I’m not sure why, or if this is necessary, but sometimes it’s seems important to read what the majority of the public is consuming.
I’m not sure what I’ll read next, or when, but this book gave me confidence that some regular easy reading could be possible for me again soon, and that’s just the kind of hope I need right now.