Thursday, August 18, 2011

Love’s Sound in Silence

Love’s Sound in Silence by Meg Hudson. *

A modern-day romance, but written in 1982, and laughably dated. In this overly long and needlessly convoluted story, Midge goes off to spy on her best friend’s twin brother, who has been keeping some secrets. Brian Vandervelt, the scion of an implausibly wealthy Knickerbocker family, lost his hearing in an explosion as a young man, but has set out to prove himself by running the family newspaper in the small upstate New York town of Coxsackie (commence childish giggling). He has kept his deafness a secret from his sister; the other secret is that someone at the paper is trying to kill him to get his inheritance. Midge loyally goes to work at Brian’s paper, and of course falls for him instantly. This has all the hallmarks of a bad romance: gratuitous overuse of exclamation points? Check! A pedestrian setting passed off as the height of glamour? Check! A glacial pace, slowed by awkward, boring history lessons about said pedestrian setting? Check. Painfully embarrassing sex scenes? Only two, but check and check. Since this is an older book, it also subscribes to the ideal alpha male mystique, so Brian is a cold, aloof asshole who forces himself on Midge even as he’s verbally abusing her. In fact, she gets sexually harassed at work by both Brian and another of her bosses, but she’s such a nonentity, it’s hard to care. She’s also too stupid to remember to face him when she’s speaking—she forgets every single time. Ugh. It’s not just the clothing in this book that’s dated, although the descriptions of Midge’s and Brian’s outfits are hilarious. Finally, the devo factor is fairly low. Midge spends a lot of time feeling sorry for Brian, but the depiction of his deafness is cursory at best.

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