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Literary Road Trip and Review: Bed and Breakfast

December 22, 2009

Josie Tatternall’s husband, Bear, was a career military man.  The Tatternalls had three daughters – Camilla, Lila and Evie – but Bear was gone so much, Josie basically raised them by herself.  Josie  always longed for some stability, so when Bear retired, she insisted on buying her dream home.  When Josie is widowed, she is forced to turn her home into a Bed and Breakfast to make ends meet.

Josie is a wonderful hostess, so her business is a success.  She has good friends, but her relationship with her grown daughters is strained.  Camilla is in New York and hasn’t been home in ten years, Lila does touch base from time to time out of a sense of duty and Evie writes a column for the paper that shares all the details of her private life.

When the family gets together for Christmas, tensions come to a head.  Lila does something she could live to regret, Evie becomes a little too friendly with Lila’s father-in-law, and Camilla leaves in a huff because of something Lila does.  Will the Tatternalls ever mend fences and learn to get along?

Bed and Breakfast by Lois Battle is the story of the dysfunctional Tatternall family.  The story is character driven and I wasn’t crazy about most of the characters, so the book was just okay for me.   Camilla, Lila and Evie seemed so selfish and self-absorbed to me – I just wanted to shake them and tell them to grow up already!  Maybe that was the point of the story, but I found it frustrating.  Nothing was revealed in the story to justify the way these women acted toward their family – I just didn’t get it.  Maybe I live in a dream world, but the members of my family don’t act like that.  There were also quite a few typos in this book, which I found distracting.

Bed and Breakfast is set in Beaufort, South Carolina, where the author lives.   I can’t find much information on her, but did discover that she moved to Beaufort when she was in her forties.  Beaufort is the second oldest city in South Carolina.    Lois Battle has written six other novels, including Florabama Ladies’ Auxiliary & Sewing Circle.

Since it’s set around Christmas, Bed and Breakfast is my fourth book for the Holiday Reading Challenge.

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24 Comments leave one →
  1. December 22, 2009 7:56 am

    For me it’s too sad to read about dysfunctional families. Such a waste. I always want to give advice or maybe send them for counseling. The typos could be forgiven if the book wasn’t so depressing.

  2. December 22, 2009 8:12 am

    Didn’t one of Conroy’s books take place in Beaufort? I wish I had participated in the Literary Road Trip.

  3. December 22, 2009 8:52 am

    Thanks for the review…and what a great new-to-me author to check out from the Literary Road Trip!

  4. December 22, 2009 9:05 am

    I know sometimes characters do get frustrating and it becomes difficult to enjoy the book I too have several books that left me wanting. Thanks for the review. 🙂

  5. December 22, 2009 9:32 am

    I usually like family dramas like this, but I think those characters would annoy me, too.


  6. December 22, 2009 10:29 am

    Ugh, character motivation is a big thing to miss out on. I think I’ll skip this one unfortunately.

    Great stop on the road trip!

  7. December 22, 2009 11:28 am

    To me, stories that take place in S.C. have so much atmosphere, you can almost close your eyes and smell the air. Big bummer that the characters are insane!

  8. December 22, 2009 11:34 am

    The cover lots lovely, but I do not enjoy reading books when most of the characters are unlikable. Thanks for the honest review Kathy.

  9. December 22, 2009 12:39 pm

    Thanks for your honest, well-written review.

  10. December 22, 2009 1:26 pm

    I can certainly understand your frustration. The book cover did look promising though. It’s always hard to enjoy a book if the characters are not likeable. I feel the same way.

  11. December 22, 2009 2:56 pm

    I don’t have to like the characters but I do have to care about them one way or the other. Finding typos in books makes me crazy! I get distracted by it, too. Then I find myself looking for errors of any kind instead of just reading.

  12. December 22, 2009 3:17 pm

    It’s too bad this one wasn’t a better read.

  13. December 22, 2009 4:15 pm

    I love character-driven novels but I have to relate to the characters on some level. This one sounds like I can skip it!

  14. December 22, 2009 4:46 pm

    A novel set in Beaufort that I have never heard of…good thing I am participating in the Support Your Local Authors challenge next year – apparently I need to research what’s here! Not sure if this will be on my list though.

  15. December 22, 2009 10:13 pm

    Sorry it was disappointing…unlikeable characters only work for me if the story itself is interesting.

  16. Melissa permalink
    December 22, 2009 10:25 pm

    I’m getting this book on hold from the library tomorrow (from recommendations). I LOVE B&B’s so I’m excited to read this!

  17. December 22, 2009 11:23 pm

    Such a beautiful cover, sorry it didn’t wotk out that well for you.

  18. December 23, 2009 6:50 am

    Thanks for taking the time to read this one for us Kathy!!

  19. December 23, 2009 2:53 pm

    I have some pretty dysfunctional family members so I can understand some crazy family stuff! You’re lucky to have a more normal family. I read Florabama Ladies’ Auxiliary & Sewing Circle several years ago and liked it a lot. I enjoy southern fiction and that one was good…there may be some dysfunctional characters also but it was a good story. I’m going to add this one to my wish list.

  20. December 23, 2009 3:00 pm

    That’s always the problem with dysfunctional family books. The author has to tread a very thin line on showing why the other characters have such a hard time getting along but they still need to be likeable. Sorry that this author wasn’t able to pull it off 😦

  21. December 23, 2009 9:29 pm

    A lot of typos in a book would drive me nuts! Thanks for your honest review.

  22. December 24, 2009 8:23 am

    Too bad this one didn’t work for you — the premise is good.

  23. stacybuckeye permalink
    December 25, 2009 1:22 am

    I want to read this one. We’ve talked about opening a B&B with my parents 🙂

  24. December 29, 2009 4:05 pm

    I do like the sound of this book, but the fact that the characters are unlikable turns me off. I don’t think I will be reading this one, and I’m sorry it wasn’t a great read for you.

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