My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Sigh! Another book that lured me in with Oprah’s Book Club logo on the cover 😐
This book has a rating of 3.39 on Goodreads, which is nothing to write home about. I may have rated this 3 stars, but it started off as a 2 star read and only moved up to 3 stars about 100 pages in when I finally had some emotional involvement in the story.
Everything about this book was just sad: the story, the setting, the characters, their lives… just sad, sad, sad. It’s even difficult for me to give this book 3 stars because that means I “liked it” yet given how bleak and depressing it was there were many things not to like. A. Manette Ansay knew exactly what she was doing when she decided on Vinegar Hill as the title and town of this book as bitterness is rife throughout the novel.
I should have known better than to read two books from “Oprah’s Book Club” back-to-back (see my review of White Oleander for context). As one reviewer on Goodreads said, “I now know why Oprah gave away cars and other amazing gifts to the guest of her show. It was to combat the depression that the members of her book club had encountered over the years. If you see the Oprah’s Book Club logo on a book you are about to crack open, take your Zoloft now.” Another reviewer said “just once Oprah should shock the world and recommend a happy book” and I wholeheartedly agree with that sentiment.
** A guide to ratings **
1 star – did not like it
2 stars – it was okay
3 stars – liked it
4 stars – really liked it
5 stars – it was amazing