Thursday, November 4, 2010
Review: "Moonlight in Odessa" by Janet Skeslien Charles
Once in America Daria finds that it is not exactly what she imagined. She loves the country, but many of the people prove to be ignorant, including her brand new husband. Daria finds herself homesick for her friends, her grandmother, and even the mafia gangster that stole her heart. Daria needs to decide if staying in America, a country filled with opportunities, is worth staying in her dubious marriage.
I absolutely loved this book. It has everything that I look for in a good read- great characters, a compelling plot, and a little taste of a different culture. The cultural aspect of this book was fantastic. The majority of the plot takes place while Daria lives in Odessa, and Janet Skeslien Charles certainly knows her stuff. I was amazed to find out about how different that culture is from ours. Gangsters control many financial aspects of the city, bribery is both common and expected, and it is next to impossible to leave your city of birth because the opportunities to do so are so limited. I also appreciated Daria's reactions to things that Americans and Canadians find so commonplace once she moves to California. Things such as barbeques and refusing food add to her culture shock.
Daria herself was endearing throughout. I appreciated that she was portrayed as a strong woman with a backbone, rather than a flighty individual. Of course, the plot was interesting as well, and it was an eye-opening look into the world of mail-order brides.
Moonlight in Odessa is a well-rounded book with an abundance of interesting plot points and characters to keep the reader interested. This would be a great choice for someone who enjoys women's fiction with a tight plot.
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Recommended to: Fans of women's fiction with an armchair traveller aspect incorporated
Challenges: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge, New Author Challenge 2010
My thanks to the author who sent me this book in exchange for my honest opinion.