Little Did I Know
by Mitchell Maxwell;
Editions: hardcover 336 pages, ebook (though Kindle not for Europe – the thinking behind this decision is lost on me)
Published September 27th 2011 by Easton Studio Press, LLC
Source: review copy
Here is the story of an unforgettable summer. Set in Plymouth, MA in the late seventies, Little Did I Know is the tale of a young man with an outsized dream – to refurbish a dilapidated but historic theater and produce a season’s worth of vibrant musicals. A recent college graduate, he fills his cast and crew with people he has come to love and trust in his university life, and with others whose talents and personalities prove undeniable. Yet, while the productions drive his ambitions, a local woman drives his passions, and their romance is fateful, star-crossed, and ultimately more than either of them expected. Told with with, compassion, and the kind of insider’s access to the theater that only someone like Mitchell Maxwell can provide, Little Did I Know is a novel about coming of age in the spotlight and embracing one’s entire future in a single season.– Goodreads Blurb
This book tour stop has been brought to Butterfly-o-Meter Books by Pump Up Your Books.
This sounded like something new for me, so I was eager to try it out. The cover had a lot to do with my openness as well, I guess, such a gorgeous cover! I’m very much into gfx, deal with it! 😛
The plot was entertaining, I had fun reading about August, Veronica, Lizzy and the whole theater intrigue (the actual building-related intrigue, it wasn’t about the performers). I wasn’t taken with anything in particular as I read on, August was fun and smart, but strangely un-charming, Veronica pushed it a little too far for me to be interested in her, Lizzy was as shallow as that and you can put whatever you want in place of the ‘that’ , her husband was outright annoying to me.
The characters were pretty much predictable, I felt each of them was a type and they staid true to it, surprisingly Lizzy was the most brave since she seemed to sort of jump around from boat to boat (and other things as well, lol, you’d have to have read it to get what I mean here), but I wouldn’t say I felt in her a lot of evolution though she does go through the motions.
The part that could have been very intriguing to me was the theater-related one, but somehow the novel seemed to skip over some meaningful insight and instead focused on the motions of putting this together, putting that together, having trouble putting that other together. Perhaps someone more in the know would feel differently about this, but for me, the very essence of theater – the magic of it, was nowhere in sight while reading this.
So I thought the focus would go on the characters, on one character at least, on its evolution and substance. But I didn’t feel I found a lot of that either, as with the magic part of theater, the magic part of characters felt somehow skipped over, again the focus falling more on the motions then on the deeper essence of things.
The writing was very enjoyable, fun and light and accessible, but the moral tone August in particular loved to take started to take the fun out of it at some point. He wanted to do the right thing, for everyone else to do the right thing, ok, I got it…I wish I hadn’t gotten it by repetition but by drawing my conclusions about him, perhaps.
All in all, I had fun reading this novel, but not a lot. I was into it some, but not a lot. I liked the characters, but not a lot. I say try it out for yourself if you don’t mind the obvious types and the predictable, done in a fun and entertaining way.
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