Monday, April 29, 2013

The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope by Rhonda Riley

Morning, all! I'm on the TLC blog tour for Rhonda Riley's The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope this morning.

So I've struggled coming up with my own synopsis on this one and I've decided simply to defer to the publisher's description. It's a once in a blue moon thing for me, but I'm coming up blank, especially in trying to decide which aspects are best left as surprises.

During World War II, with all of her male relatives at war or working at the cotton mill in her rural North Carolina town, teenager Evelyn Roe is sent to manage her family’s farm alone. While tending her land in the midst of a heavy rain, Evelyn rescues what she thinks to be a badly burned solider all but buried in the heavy red clay soil. As this stranger recovers at an alarmingly fast rate, it quickly becomes clear that he is not a man and perhaps not even one of us. With equal speed, Evelyn and this being, who becomes known as Addie and then Adam, fall deeply in love. The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope is the story of their profound connection, their children, and how both are tested by the world around them, the limits of time and the secret of Adam’s unusual origin and mysterious abilities.

This was semi miss for me. It was just a bit too odd for my taste, which I know sounds strange coming from me - I read odd stuff all the time. It is a strangely compelling read, I will give it that. I didn't love it but I didn't want to stop reading.

The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope has aspects of magical realism, something I'm always a bit iffy on anyway. Some of the most popular titles in that vein are books that I've not particularly enjoyed, while others, like Sarah Addison Allen, I can eat like candy. I wouldn't necessarily categorize Rhonda Riley's debut as magical realism, though. Yes, Adam's origins fit the bill as does his unique voice, and that's about it.

I was admittedly having pretty bad flashbacks of a book I absolutely loathed the entire time I was reading The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope. It's an issue that's all my own but I did find the book very reminiscent of two other books I've read - one, as I mentioned already, I quite simply hated (it's rare for me but it happens) and the other I enjoyed but was definite horror compared to this book club read.

I'm certain that this book will be rather well received amongst most readers and quite likely could have been for me if the timing had been right on the read. Unfortunately it just wasn't so. I couldn't manage to get my head in the right space for this book. I don't mean to be wishy washy. This was a hard post all around. What to say, how to say it... I still don't know. I can't seem to find adequate words this time around.

Rating: 3/5

To see other stops on the tour - and other more likely better voiced opinions - check out the official tour page here.

You can find Rhonda Riley on Facebook.



Jenn's Bookshelves said...

Oh no! Admittedly, this was a very different book. As I was reading, I knew the reviews of this book would be varied. I'm so sorry you didn't like it; it was my favorite book read last month!

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

I'm sorry to see that this one wasn't quite your cup of tea, but thanks for your review for the tour.