Saturday, October 3, 2009

BOOK REVIEW: "Candles on Bay Street"

Candles on Bay Street
by K. C. McKinon
Copyright 1999
Doubleday Publishing
Adult Fiction
(spoiler alert!)

Alright, so really, I generally don't like books that make me cry. Especially ones that make me cry because someone is affected by cancer. But this book is an exception (I realize I just gave a big part of the book away, but maybe you're like me and have been personally touched in an excruciating way by cancer and like to avoid the reminders).

If I had known that cancer would be a part of this book, I probably wouldn't have read it, which would have truly been a shame. "Candles on Bay Street" is set in small-town Fort Kent, Maine, where veterinarian Sam Thibodeau is faced with some very tough choices when his childhood friend and lifelong crush, Dee Dee Michaud, returns to town after a very long absence. Both of their lives have changed dramatically (he is married, and she has a child), but the friendship is still there. Soon after Dee Dee starts up a candle-making business and begins to create a community for herself, Sam starts to notice something is wrong. Dee Dee is sick and getting sicker.

The story progresses from there and you will have to read the book to find out how it ends, but I do want to share my commentary on the way this book is written. The author pulled me in to Fort Kent and made me feel it was my own small town growing up. The people were so real. The incidents that were occuring in their daily lives were real. The writing was real and McKinnon's words conveyed the beauty of the setting with ease.

I felt each characters' joy and pain at various different points in the book. At several points in the book, I did weep like a baby. In part, because it brought up so many memories of my mother's own battle with cancer that she lost in 1995. But also, in part because I truly felt the character's emotions as written by the author.

I would definitely recommend this book, especially for someone who likes a good tear-jerker.

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