"To cure pain, one has to feel it first. That's what acclimating is to for him, dealing with some sort of pain. And that's what eats at him right now. Either pain has to be felt, or escaped from."
~Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans, Joanne DeMaio
Maris' group of friends faces some particularly weighty adult problems, pertaining to life and death, the loss of a limb, job and marital problems, and other family issues. In keeping with the serious tone of the book, I'm not sure that the cute title really fits the book. Maybe this book deserves a more pensive title, such as At Stony Point (or something more creative), although I like how the title refers to Maris' career and coffee.
This could be due to my limitations as a reader, but it took me a while to "get into" this book. I needed to reread the first few chapters in order to make sense of what was happening and who the characters were. For me, things did not "click" as quickly as I'd hoped they would. I was a trifle confused as I tried to figure out the connections between all of the characters, to discover who was who. Truth be told, I felt there were too many characters for this sort of novel. I liked Maris well enough, but I was left wanting to get to know her better. Instead, I met many of her friends, Eva, Matt, Scott, Jason, Neil, Kyle, Lauren, and Vinny. I'd have preferred fewer characters who I could get to know more deeply.
Overall, however, I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more work by Joanne DeMaio. Her writing is exquisite and evocative.
"Farther down the beach, a few boats are moored just beyond the swimming area, their cabins glowing with yellow light. Beyond the boats, the lighthouse at Gull Island faintly beckons. An occasional faraway call of a foghorn moves through the night."
~~Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans, Joanne DeMaio
She brought the setting to life, and I felt as if I, too, were at the shore, basking in the fresh beach air, taking a barefoot walk in the sand by the edge of the water. More than just a beach read, though, this book is an interesting exploration of many things, including the importance of pursuing your chosen career and other dreams, and to connecting with friends and family.
Thanks to Mary for providing me with a complimentary copy of this novel.
Your comments are welcomed, as always.