Thursday, April 29, 2010


For the first time ever, I can say that I purchased a book with an eye toward reviewing it more than toward actually reading it. It cost just a dollar at a thrift shop, otherwise I would not have been so foolhardy. But I had read the blurb on the back cover saying it was first in a new series. Perusing it, I could tell it was written along the lines of Jan Karon's Mitford series of books centered around the characters in a small town. When finding series books at thrift or used book stores, I am seldom lucky enough to find the first in a series, so I said "What the heck!" and splurged on it.

I have only read one Mitford book (the first one) and did not care to read the others. I feel the same way about the the Lumby books. I doubt if I will ever pick one up again, though I did like it better than the Mitford books (perhaps because the characters are younger?).

The biggest flaw in series books like these is that  you are introduced to so many characters at one time that you can scarcely keep them apart. This is true of "The Lumby Lines" (which was the accidental but kept-anyway name of the town newspaper). Some of the main characters are irascible Lumby Lines publisher William Beezer and his estranged son, Dennis Beezer, who edits the newspaper in a nearby town, and Mark and Pam Walker, who decide to take up residence in Lumby and remodel the old Montis Abbey, former home to a group of monks.

Mark and Pam have come from somewhere "Out East". I don't believe the state Lumby is located in is ever named, but it is western, although Lumby appeared to me to be a typical quaint New England town.

The main thing that irritated me about this book is that everything proceeded way too smoothly for Mark and Pam. The abbey is restored with seemingly nary a snag. There had been a mysterious fire at the abbey some years ago, and I thought that Mark and Pam might be plagued by a similar fire, but no such "luck". Even the monks, who now live at another abbey, are saved from financial ruin and the loss of their new home thanks to help from the Walkers.

Sorry, Gail Fraser, but I, for one, won't be buying "Lumby on the Air", "The Promise of Lumby", "Lumby's Bounty" or "Stealing Lumby".

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