Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The House on Mermaid Point

Author:  Wendy Wax
Genre:  Fiction

Two Stars

Maddie, Avery and Nikki first got to know one another-perhaps too well-while desperately restoring a beach-front mansion to its former grandeur.  Now they're putting that experience to professional use.  But their latest project has presented some challenges they couldn't have dreamed up in their wildest fantasies-although the house does belong to a man who actually was Maddie's wildest fantasy once...

Rock-and-roll legend "Willliam the Wild" Hightower may be past his prime, estranged from his family, and creatively blocked, but he's still worshipped by fans-which is why he guards his privacy on his own island in the Florida Keys.  He's not thrilled about letting this crew turn his piece of paradise into a bed-and-breakfast for a reality show...though he is intrigued by Maddie.  Hard as that is for her to believe as a newly single woman who can barely manage a dog paddle in the dating pool.

But whether it's an unexpected flirtation with a bona fide rock star, a strained mother-daughter relationship, or a sudden tragedy, these women are in it together.  The only thing that might drive them apart is being trapped on a houseboat with one bathroom...

********

Maddie, Nicole and Avery became friends after losing everything they had to a ponzi scheme.  In order to build their finances up again, they decide to accept the offer of renewing old homes into something modern.  Their latest assignment is in the Florida Keys; the home of William Hightower, a former rocker known as "William the Wild."  They're there to turn his house into a bed-and-breakfast.  He's not happy about the idea; in fact, he wants them gone.  But having blown all his money and just getting out of rehab, he doesn't have a choice.  What he doesn't count on, though, is that Maddie's being there just might help him stay on the straight and narrow, and find himself again.

Now the bad:  The book sounded interesting from the blurb; but there are times when it can be misleading.  This was one of them.  Some things I just didn't understand:  Avery is an architect, but she actually wears a toolbelt and hard hat and does the work herself.  I have a friend who's an architect, and years ago I worked for one.  They don't do the work themselves.  They design the building.  (Here's an article describing what architects actually do:  http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com/what-does-an-architect-do/).  Nowhere in the article does it read that they do the work themselves.  So, if Avery is doing the construction part, I would really have liked to know her background.  We know that her father owned a construction company, but it doesn't make her a contractor.

Here's the Big Thing:  In my opinion, the book was a little too focused on Dustin, the child of Kyra and married actor Dan Deranian.  I don't read tabloids, but I know enough that they're not covered in photos of children of celebrities.  I can't even imagine it being so huge the paparazzi would be taking hours upon hours of film of the child just to increase ratings.  Honestly, no one cares.  You might want to see a famous actor/actress, but their children?  According to this book, the show is basically there because of Dustin.  Really?  I found it just too hard to believe.  The way actors/actresses cheat on their spouses, it's not a big deal to see the resulting child.  And I've yet to see paparazzi chasing them down every minute of the day.  In fact, I would guess that photographers would stay away from this kind of thing.  Plus, what kind of a mother does it make Kyra that she would basically put her child on a television show as if he were some kind of exhibit?  The producers says to make sure 'they get lots of shots of Dustin.'  Who is this actor?  Some kind of god that his child is the Favored One?  I just didn't get that storyline at all.  Also the fact that he's a child who can't even enunciate his words and they have him on a jobsite.  Yeah, that works.  It's also like a daily reminder that Dan cheated on his wife.  That's going to help the marriage (and humiliate his wife constantly).  Somehow, I don't think the press wants to alienate movie stars.  Besides, in the real world, if Kyra was exploiting her son for money, Dan would probably file for custody saying she was an unfit mother - and win.

As if that weren't enough, supposedly when they renovated the house of a former vaudvillian, Max Golden, something happened.  The show is being run on network television, and they all sit down to watch.  Well, there's a scene where someone is shooting at Kyra and Dustin, and Max jumps in front of Dustin and he gets shot...and killed, and they show that and the body being taken away...and they show this on TV.  On network TV, no less.  I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure they don't show someone being murdered on television.  (We get the impression this is a 'filmed' show, so it's not live and they can edit out a murder.)  I'm pretty sure that episode never would have aired.  There are people across the country who wouldn't want to see that, you know.  (Can't you see the TV Guide:  Tonight on Do Over: Max Golden gets killed.  Tune in at 8).  How would you promo that one?  They might do a tribute, but...

The last thing is that this book is obviously part of a series.  You're given enough information to know that, but you really need to begin at the first one to get the whole picture, and the ending leaves you hanging, so that you have to read the next in the series (not that it doesn't resolve some things; it does, but there are new questions that aren't answered).

So, in my opinion, read this if you're already into the series.  If not, it's up to you if you want.  I just couldn't buy the whole Dustin-is-the-best-thing-that-ever-happened idea.  Or the fact that they show a death on television.  No offense to the author, but it just didn't make sense.

http://www.amazon.com/The-House-Mermaid-Point-Wendy/dp/0425263320/

 


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