Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Goddesses by Swan Huntley

Like most people in my neck of the woods, I've been fighting the 90 degree heat. Today, I decided to ignore my garden work to stay in the air conditioning and finish reading The Goddesses by Swan Huntley.

Momma Says 3 out 5 stars⭐⭐⭐

The Goddesses is very well-written in first person POV with the story being told from the perspective of main character, Nancy. It fits well into the Women's Fiction genre and while not a Thriller, it is Psychological. There is mention of infidelity and sex, but no on the page, detailed action.

When Nancy and her family arrive in Kona, Hawaii, they are desperate for a fresh start. Nancy's husband has cheated on her; they sleep in separate bedrooms and their twin sons have been acting out, setting off illegal fireworks. But Hawaii is paradise: they plant an orange tree in the yard; they share a bed once again and Nancy resolves to make a happy life for herself. She starts taking a yoga class and there she meets Ana, the charismatic teacher. Ana has short, black hair, a warm smile, and a hard-won wisdom that resonates deeply within Nancy. They are soon spending all their time together, sharing dinners, relaxing in Ana's hot tub, driving around Kona in the cute little car Ana helps Nancy buy. As Nancy grows closer and closer to Ana—skipping family dinners and leaving the twins to their own devices she feels a happiness and understanding unlike anything she's ever experienced, and she knows that she will do anything Ana asks of her. A mesmerizing story of friendship and manipulation set against the idyllic tropical world of the Big Island, The Goddesses is a stunning psychological novel by one of our most exciting young writers.

The author has a wonderful writing style that pulls a reader in and this one was quite interesting at times and had great potential. My problem with it is that I felt like I was reading a soap opera with some not so likable characters. In my opinion, the most likable characters in the book were Nancy's teenage sons and even they had their moments.
Nancy was boring and judgmental, more often than not, at least until the end. She's so concerned about her marriage that she moves to Hawaii, but then proceeds to spend as much time as possible away from that family. I understand and can sympathize with her situation, but as a married woman and a mother, I couldn't get on board with her actions. Ana is certainly a psychopath and it was easy to see her manipulation of Nancy and the situations they were in, but I was disappointed with her endgame. After everything that happened, I expected much more. The wayward husband, Chuck, does at least try to make things right, and honestly, his actions were the only ones that made sense to me - I didn't agree with them, but they did make sense. 
There is an interesting twist at the end that I didn't see coming, but by the time I got there, it was too little, too late for me to have much more than a meh feeling about the whole book. 

Advanced reader copy provided by NetGalley an Doubleday Books.

The Goddesses releases July 25th and is available for preorder at the folllowing links.

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