3 out of 4 stars
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Sometimes, you get a taste of love when you’re miles away from home. Is it worth it to go back afterward? How far would you be willing to travel for love?
W.B. Edwards’ first novel, Finding Rosie, follows California surfer, Paul Sutton, when he returns home from the Philippines after he was stationed there as a naval officer. As he re-adjusts to life in America, he realizes that something is missing. He starts to think about Rosie, a beautiful woman whom he dated during his Navy service. As time goes on, Paul misses her more and more. Eventually, he decides to return to the Philippines to find her. The question is whether he is prepared for what awaits him there.
Paul’s story was unique, yet relatable. I think that many people have found romance on vacations or travel expeditions and there is always the question of whether it is truly something worth returning for. There were also a few surprises in the story which I did not see coming. I really appreciated these twists because each deepened the plot and gave me a greater insight into the characters.
The author’s descriptions of Filipino culture and lifestyle were another feature of the story that I enjoyed. Through Paul’s eyes, I got a glimpse of what life in the Philippines looked like in the past. He spoke about farmers riding caribou carts, Sari-Sari shops that sold everything, and lush, green rice paddies. Filipino street food included hot corn on the cob, cured squid, and barbequed monkey-meat on bamboo sticks. I also learned that Tagalog was the main language spoken and that pesos were the most popular type of money used there.
The only thing which I thought could use a bit more development, were the characters. In my opinion, Paul’s character was bland. To begin with, I only got pieces of his looks throughout the story as opposed to a distinct, worded picture of him at the start. In addition, most of the story is told through dialogue and actions, rather than what the characters thought or felt. Since Paul made such a big decision to return to see Rosie, I was expecting a more detailed account of Paul’s feelings and intentions. At times, I found his seemingly nonchalant attitude questionable, such as when a huge tragedy occurred but this didn’t seem to affect him emotionally at all. As a result, it was quite difficult to connect with this character.
The book contained a few mistakes which included wrongfully placed commas, lack of full stops, and typos. However, the majority of these did not distract me from a smooth reading experience. Since I genuinely enjoyed the book, I rate it 3 out of 4 stars. I deducted a star due to the errors, and because I felt that Paul’s character could have been fleshed out a little more. I think that Finding Rosie will appeal more to a male audience because they may relate better to the lead characters. It is also not a typical romance as it included themes like prostitution, casual sex, and tragedy. In my opinion, adventure fans may enjoy this one more than romance fans.
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