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Paradise by Judith McNaught - A Review

January 31, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 152

Paradise is an emotional roller coaster that left me both exhilarated and exhausted by the end of the 709 page book. It's one of those books where you can't wait to get to the end to see how it all gets resolved, yet at the same time, you don't ever want the experience of reading the story to come to an end.

It begins with the story of Meredith Bancroft's childhood. Her father banished his wife from their lives when Meredith was a baby, because he believed she'd been promiscuous. In an effort to ensure Meredith didn't have a chance of being like her mother, Phillip Bancroft exerts unfair restrictions and control over Meredith's childhood, effectively robbing her of it. So instead of a normal childhood, Meredith grows up in a world of privilege, yet terrible loneliness. She acts as her father's business hostess and absorbs and loves everything about the Bancroft department store, which is her family heritage.

Matthew Farrell comes from a life of early responsibility and hard work. He's a steel mill worker with big dreams, ambition and drive.

On the night they first meet, Meredith rescues Matt in a social situation. He doesn't particularly care about being ostracised by some snobs, but Meredith goes out of her way to ensure he's include and she captivates him. When her father over reacts to her being in Matt's company, she decides, in her anger, that she might as well act in a manner commensurate with the way her father treats her. When Matt does the honourable thing by then marrying Meredith, her father is livid and stops at nothing to drive them apart.

The story resumes 11 years later, when Matt and Meredith are both successful and wealthy, each still believing the lies that had led to them hating each other.

As Meredith and Parker, her childhood crush, are planning for their wedding, they discover that Meredith and Matt's divorce isn't legal.

Forced together to resolve the situation, Matt and Meredith piece together what went wrong during their brief marriage and along the way, their attraction to each other is rekindled, helped along by their admiration for each other as successful business people. Matt recognises that he's never completely gotten over Meredith and proposes an outrageous situation in his determined effort to keep her as his wife.

It is a far from smooth journey and the incidents and interactions keep the reader totally unable to predict from which angle the next hurdles and solutions will appear. The reader is treated to some thoroughly enjoyable dialogue exchanges throughout the book.

Something that would have been nice to have had included in the book is the reunion between Meredith and her mother.

Another thing I'd have changed is that I wouldn't have had Meredith forgiving her father so easily, or sacrificing her wishes in order to help save her father, after all the reprehensible things he'd done to ruin her and Matt's relationship. I could have strangled Meredith's father at many points during the book.

Paradise is humorous, sad, clever and poignant all at the same time. A really touching, memorable piece of fiction.

Source: EzineArticles
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Article Tags:

Judith Mcnaught


Meredith Bancroft


Matt Farrell






Romance Novel


Contemporary Romance

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