Friday, 16 July 2010

Eye of the Beholder by Jackie Weger

I've been re-reading some of the older romances on my faves list.

Arctic Enemy by Linda Harell has lost its lustre. The journalist heroine now seems media-standard selfish and self-serving. Although the setting itself and the story is very exciting.

However Eye of the Beholder is still just absolutely wonderful. It's basically the story of how stick thin, itinerant Phoebe gets her man, Gage Morgan. This novel is just so much full of love and family. If only real-life were this happy and straightforward. Phoebe and her folks have absolutely nothing. They have all lost their jobs at the cotton mill. So what does Phoebe do. No, she does not let her mom pimp her into an arranged marriage. Phoebe packs her younger brother and sister into a pickup and goes to look for work. Bless her. And bumps into miserable Gage Morgan, the hero. Although basically, the story is 80% per cent about Phoebe.

Jackie Weger wrote an even better romance. On a Wing and a Prayer. Also on my list. The hero of that story actually lived in a trailer. And he was still wonderful. One of the few romances where both the hero and the heroine had minimal material possessions. But the characters in both stories were pretty similar. Crochety hero. Optimistic heroine with a heart full of love for children. And of course the sassy granny.

I don't know why the media prefers to portray the american under-class as being scarey (Hills Have Eyes, Texas Chainsaw, Deliverance) or immoral (Bens Wildflower).

Most of Jackie's other romances were bog-standard middle-class stuff. As was she herself. But those two mentioned above are a couple of 22-carat gems. And the best way to view both Eye and Wing is as sublime Works of Art. Cos there's no way they were an easy write.

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