Melody
ISBN-13: 9780778325970
Publisher: Mira
Published: May 2009
384 pgs



Synopsis:

Rachel is finally getting it right. After years of wandering, she's married the perfect man and settled into the ideal life. But as her sleepy little town turns into a killing ground, she realizes that this new life might come at too high a price.

Caleb Middleton says he's returned home to set things right. But as her husband's dangerous brother circles like a hungry wolf, poking holes in her perfect world, Rachel draws her young daughter in close. The rain and violence keep coming, and Rachel must decide whether to trust her dream life or her instincts…before the town of Silver Falls becomes her grave.

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Julia and Alice are my two favourite blogger friends and whenever there is any new releases by Anne Stuart (or any other books that interest us for that matter), we always make it a "tradition" to read it together. We will drop notes to each other's emails to inform about our progress and also to discuss about the book and so forth; it is always fun and I always look forward to our joint-readings.

Anyway, this time round we decided to do something different for our reviews. So instead of us posting our reviews and thoughts about the book as usual, each of us will prepare three questions and we will answer them accordingly. Below are our questions as well as my answers to them. Please don't forget to visit Alice's and Julia's blogs to read their answers too!

Our Joint-Reading Q&As

Alice's questions:


1. Are there any ideas that make you stop and think, lessons learned, etc.; for example, be more wary before jumping into a relationship – and how have you changed after reading it?
I would say never to judge a person by his looks and also to trust your instincts. For Rachel's (the heroine) case, her weakness is that though she knows in a way that something is not right with her husband, David, but she still go on into telling herself to believe him (despite her daughter, Sophie, who is also thinking the same thing). Although I can't really blame Rachel since she is marrying David thinking he would provide security and a place for Sophie to stay, I think that she should at least know that person well enough before she jumps into a relationship with him, no matter how trustworthy or harmless he may seem to be (I know this can be pretty hard and tricky).

2. Were you able to think of any connections between the book and your life, perhaps in ways that touched you, reminded you of your own life, or reminded you of event(s) that happened to someone else? It may not be murder...
Hmm... I can't really think of any connections between the book and my life, but I would say all mothers would be able to understand Rachel's concern and devotion to Sophie. I wouldn't want anyone or anything to hurt my children too, and I will do all means to protect them. In the story, Rachel did whatever she can to provide a safe and happy life for Sophie. Being a photographer, she gets to travel around the world but she chooses to stay in Silver Falls and married David, thinking she has finally found a home for Sophie but unfortunately David turned out to be the wrong man for her.

3. Relating to the characters in the book, which one is your favorite? Is there anyone that you hate or detest? Is there something about the character that you'd like to change? If yes, what?
Caleb, the hero and Maggie, the town sheriff are my favourite characters in this story. I liked Caleb because he doesn't seem to bear any grudges (it has to do with his family) and he, in fact is a responsible man in my opinion. As for Maggie, I admire her because she is simply one heroic lady cop.

Well, I can't say there's anyone whom I really hate or detest. If I have to name one, it has to be David since he is the bad guy here but I believe there are reasons why he chose to be one. And for the last question, I would like Rachel to be able to view things clearly instead of contradicting herself at times (which I have to say irritates me on most occasions).

Julia's questions:

1. I remember Anne Stuart said that SILVER FALLS was inspired by Ted Bundy who lived with a woman and her daughter during part of his killing spree and never touched them. And she wondered what that would be like for woman who living with a monster and never knew it. How did that affected you while reading SILVER FALLS, knowing that in real life there were a Ted Bundy just like David?
Wow, that's interesting! I never knew this book was inspired by a person, no matter how bad he is. I think it is terrifying to live with a monster without knowing it. It is equally terrifying to marry someone who has a split personality; meaning he/she could treat you very well but doing other bad things behind your back (I am not talking about extramarital affairs). There are all sorts of people in this world, I just think that one should be alert and careful who he/she should befriend with.

2. Anne Stuart's books are more on the dark, thrilling and Gothics side with a element of good vs evil. From her earlier work or most of her recent work, how does SILVER FALLS compare to those? Was there any difference? What did you like and didn't like about SILVER FALLS?
One thing I love about Anne Stuart's books is the way she portrays her heroes in a dark sort of way. He could be a bad boy or even an assassin, but in the end her readers always fall in love with her heroes because they are not as bad or as dark as they seem in the beginning. Silver Falls falls into that category because of Caleb and how bad or 'dangerous' he appears to be.

As much as I love Anne Stuart's book, I have not read all of her books though. I had read most of her recent ones, and I am very interested to read her works published during the 80s. They are so hard to find! I managed to mooch one or two copy and I read from Anne Stuart's blog that you could get a used copy of her first published book (1974), Barrett's Hill, at a mere US$200 on Amazon! (I would be the first one to grab it if I have some extra money!)

I think Anne Stuart's signature is writing dark heroes and she is very good at it! I like everything she writes, and Silver Falls is no exception.

3. What did you think about the cover art for SILVER FALLS? Love it? Hate it? Your opinion?
I don't know about you, but I think the cover for Silver Falls looks more like a horror/thriller book than a romantic suspense. Needless to say, this is my least favourite cover among all Stuart's books but still, what most matters is the story and not the cover art, although I think the latter would be useful to entice a new reader into picking up her books and read them.

And finally, here's my questions:

1. What do you think of the hero and the heroine?
I think there is only one word to describe the hero and the heroine: opposite attracts! Caleb is unpredictable at times, and Rachel is just plain stubborn. I just liked reading the tension and how chemistry sparks between them.

2. What do you think of David's behaviour to the victims? Did it take away all your surprises when he is shown as the murderer from the beginning of the story? Or would you prefer to find out who's the murderer towards the end of the story? Why or why not?
I think David is simply a sick man, but I also felt sorry for him after reading the end of the story. Apparently he needs help in certain departments, but he is also a proud man so maybe this is one reason why he took the wrong path and towards the end of no return. I have to admit I was a little disappointed when David is portrayed as the murderer from the beginning of the story, but that does not stop me from reading it because finding out what he might do next is equally thrilling. Anyway, this is just another writing style and as long as the story entice me, I am all for anything.

3. What attracts the heroine to the hero, considering he is her "brother-in-law"?
I would think it is his never-give-up attitude that attracts Rachel to Caleb; and moreover Caleb is a very persistent man so there is no way Rachel could resist him and say no to him (although it took Caleb several attempts!). Besides that, I couldn't feel the chemistry between Rachel and David, despite they are married. I am not surprised she is not in love with him in the first place, after all she did state that she is marrying David because she thinks she could trust him and that he could provide a home to Sophie.

~*~*~*~*~*

I hope you enjoyed reading this Q&A review. Do you prefer this format, or the usual review format? I would love to hear from you!


Other reviews:
(Let me know if I missed yours.)
11 Responses
  1. naida Says:

    great review! I just saw this posted over at Alice's blog also :O)
    The book sounds good.
    http://thebookworm07.blogspot.com/


  2. Iliana Says:

    How cool that you girls did this! I love it. I love your usual review format too of course but it was neat to see everyone's point of view.

    And, I swear, one of these days I must read an Anne Stuart book.


  3. Julia Says:

    Meldoy - I like your answers and even agree with what you've said about all mothers can understand Rachel concern and love for their children. And that was what I see in Rachel, when I mention that she was a protective mother hen, even though she ignore all instinct of danger leading to her daughter and herself. I also didn't see any chemistry between Rachel and David. But than the romance between Rachel and Caleb was minor too imo.

    I find it interesting that you mention Maggie as your favorite characters. I like her too but I focus more on Sophie than I did with Maggie. Both seem to be strong women.

    And I totally agree with you about Anne Stuart signature is writing dark bad boy heroes. She does portrays them in a way that we fall in love with them, no matter what kind of job they do.

    Really enjoy reading your answers and knowing your thoughts in it. I hope that we be doing more joint-reading together because it always fun. And...thanks for saying what you did ---- you and Alice are too, my two favorite blogger friends :)

    P.S. -- Told you I was too wordy! *LOL*


  4. Melody Says:

    Naida - Thanks! I hope you enjoyed reading our posts. :D

    Iliana - I thought it'd be refreshing to do something different this round. And yes, I enjoy reading everyone's POV through this method. We shall see if we'll do it again next time round for our joint-reading. ;)

    Julia - Thank you!

    Yes, Rachel is like a "mother hen" to me, and that's what all mothers are, LOL.

    I mentioned Maggie is because she really took her job seriously, and she's very, very protective of her own daughter and Sophie too. I liked Sophie and I think she's one heck of a teenager! She's so brave and intelligent!

    I don't mind you being wordy because I love hearing your thoughts. See, my reply to you is wordy too, haha. :P


  5. Nymeth Says:

    Read-alongs are so much fun, aren't they? As for the review format, I like both! It's good to do something different every now and then, and Q&As are a great option :)


  6. Beth F Says:

    I like both formats. The Q&A is a great idea.


  7. I was just over reading Alice's responses to the questions. It's so neat that you three are able to do this. I like getting three opinions all at once. :-)


  8. Kim L Says:

    Hmmm... I could tell right from the cover that the book looked like a dark, gothic read. I was even wondering if it was supernatural!

    What fun to read it with some good friends. Whenever I finish a book I really liked, I always try to get my husband to read so I have someone to talk it over with.


  9. Melody Says:

    Nymeth - It's great reading books with fellow bookbloggers! It's so fun and I always love hearing what the others have to say about the book we're reading. ;)

    Beth - Thanks! :)

    Wendy - Joint-readings are always fun! :D I'm definitely looking forward for more!

    Kim - That's what I thought about the cover. It reminds me of a horror book every time I look at it. ;P

    I wish I'm able to convince my husband to read what I read, LOL.


  10. Alice Teh Says:

    Hi Melody, I can't believe I forgot about Maggie! She's great I must say.

    I love your answer to my question no. 2. I enjoyed reading all your answers and we do share some similar thoughts of the book.

    I so enjoyed reading this with you and Julia. We must, must, must do this again! :D


  11. Melody Says:

    Alice - Maggie is one heroic lady, isn't she?

    I enjoyed reading your and Julia's answers too! It's interesting to read each other's thoughts, no matter how similiar or different they are. ;)

    I really look forward to our next joint-reading soon! :)