Monday, April 5, 2010 By: Suzanne

Leeway Cottage: Audio

Unfortunately this is another book that started out with a lot of promise but left me feeling kind of flat. Leeway Cotttage by Beth Gutcheon is the story of Sydney Brant and Laurus Moss. They are a young couple very much in love just before the start of WWII. Laurus is a Jewish Danish painter who meets the rich Dundee girl Sydney while studying in America. Shortly after their marriage, he goes to help the Danish Resistance, leaving his newly pregnant wife alone for four years. After his return, neither he nor Sydney are the same. Can they find their way back to each other? Or will they remain forever apart?

This could have been a wonderful book. It had all the makings of a wonderful book. But it didn't happen. Sydney is a spirited, mostly happy person who wants to make the world a better place. Her mother was hard on her but Sydney seems to have not let it affect her too much as she still wants to find  and give happiness. But when Laurus comes home after the war, she is a different person. So much more than can be accounted for just by her husband being gone while she works and takes care of their child. I kept expecting the big reveal to tell me what exactly happened to Sydney while Laurus was away but it never happened. There is never any explanation for why she changed so much into the biggest *B* that ever lived. Her story is almost completely lost during this time. We get to know what Laurus was up to, what his parents we doing to stay alive, we even know by the end of the book the horrible things that happen to his sister in a concentration camp but the main character in this book is Sydney and there is NEVER an explanation for the big change that comes over her. There is also a constant hint throughout the book that Sydney's mother may not really be her mother. However, this is never directly addressed, making the reader feel cheated. Even if we never know the true answer, it should at least be dealt with if the author is going to hint at it several times throughout.

I thought the book was written very well, all the plot lines woven in carefully without a seam to make you feel as if it was integral to book and not added just for the fun of it. But leaving out two such a vital pieces of information leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth for this book. I can't even recommend it.