Monday, April 19, 2010

Review: Fireworks Over Toccoa by Jeffrey Stepakoff

Fireworks Over Toccoa
As you may recall, I was over the moon when I heard there was going to be a book set in Toccoa. It didn't really look like my normal kind of read, but it was set in Toccoa, where I went to college, a place that holds so many life memories for me. It's also a gorgeous town, something I appreciate now more than ever. And why not share the history of a place like Toccoa? I'm fairly familiar with the rocky history of the college I went to, but not necessarily the town itself.

Fireworks Over Toccoa is about Lily, a young wife in Toccoa expecting her husband back after World War II. She was married to Paul for just a short time before he left for the war, and while she's looking forward to his return, she has mixed feelings. Lily has always been a bit on the adventurous side and never quite the proper young Toccoa woman her mother wishes she were. Her parents are extremely wealthy and have high hopes for their daughter.

As Lily prepares for Paul's return, she meets Jake Russo who is in town preparing the fireworks for the big fourth of July homecoming. And as you might expect, some fireworks happen between Lily and Jake who are drawn to each other in a fast and furious way. What will this mean for Lily's future with Paul? Will she leave her hometown for this newfound passion?

What I liked about this book was the setting. The woods actually come into play quite a bit and I could well imagine them having spent four years in Toccoa. It really is beautiful country. The falls, the big huge gorgeous waterfall that was on my college campus, barely got a mention, really only to tell the story of the legend of Toccoa. But it didn't matter, I could imagine Toccoa as it must have been.

What I didn't like was pretty much everything else. I couldn't buy into the love story. I do imagine that after having a husband for a short while and suddenly not having one for four years, Lily would be a bit....restless. But there wasn't enough genuine build-up for me to believe she'd really be tempted to leave everything behind for what was essentially, forgive my crudeness, a good shag. I would have appreciated a lot more character development to believe the incredible chemistry and love of the characters.

This is, however, a short read. If you are looking for just a quick sort-of-love story that includes some interesting history of fireworks and a fabulous little town in Toccoa, you might like this.

Rating: 2.75/5
Things You Might Want to Know: Sex
Source of Book: Review Copy provided by publisher
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books (St. Martin's Press)

Check out beautiful Toccoa Falls!


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