Though I don’t ordinarily read novels in the chick lit genre, it’s certainly not because I believe there’s a lack of very talented authors who write in that genre. It’s more that I have my preferences, and usually stick to them, for better or worse.
Groom and Doom: A Greek Love Story and other well-written chick lit novels are making me reassess my preferences and prejudices, towards the genre. That’s because brilliant writing is brilliant writing, no matter what the genre might be. The chick lit genre is definitely no exception. Like a Shakespearian Comedy, which involves one or more romantic entanglements and marriages, Theresa Braun’s novel also has moments that bring smiles and some that tug at your emotions and might cause you to shed a few tears.
The first-person narrator is Angela. At the beginning of Groom and Doom: A Greek Love Story, she is at her place of employment, the metaphysical shop The Dragon’s Lair, discussing with a friend and fellow employee details about her love life, leading up to her eventual relationship with the man who she would marry, Stavros. When the handsome Greek man Stavros came into her life, though, Angela knew she was destined to spend her life with him in married bliss. Their dating and the romance that blossoms between them, the love notes nad poems he sends her, makes you think as you read that Angela’s discovered her perfect match, and that they will get married and live, like in the fairy tales, happily ever after.
The author, Theresa Braun, writes in a very descriptive, poetic way. especially when describing Stavros or the beauty of countries like Greece. Here’s one example of how she initially interacted with Stavros to whet your appetites to read more from this fantastic author:
Waiting for him to speak, I drank in his perfectly chiseled face. I resisted my constant impulse to squeeze the end of his nose with my two fingers–it was squared off at the end, just a little bit. I always thought it was the oddest thing to fixate on.
Unfortunately for Angela, problems in the form of her father-in-law, Georgius, raise their ugly heads and make her come to the realization that she was not going to live out a fairy tale sort of romance. There is a foreshadowing that her married life will not be all wine and roses when, in Crete before the wedding, a tarot card reading shows that she and Stavros might experience some turbulent times ahead of them.
Stavros has a deep connection with his family, and he feels he must put them first, even before Angela’s wishes and desires. She doesn’t even have control over the wedding ceremony. What should have been one of the happiest days of her life is tainted by Stavros’s over-controlling father-in-law. She even has nightmares and the traumatic fellings that Georgius causes interfers with what should have been a romantic honeymoon in Venice.
Usually, the stereotypical person who is the bane of one spouse or the other is the mother-in-law. This novel turns that stereotype on its head, as it’s the father-in-law who is the domineering one who interfers with the couple’s happiness. Reading about how he behaves reminded me somewaht of how Michelangelo’s father treats the great artist and sculpter in the Irving Stone novel, The Agony and the Ecstasy. Like Stavros with his father, Michelangelo felt a great responsibility towards his father, like he owed him a debt; and, Michelangelo’s father took full advantage over him, sponging off of him for years.
Groom and Doom: A Greek Love Story by Theresa Braun is a page-turning novel that will heat up the libido. Stavros is the ideal man of chick lit novels, but he has a fatal flaw that Angela discovers when it’s too late to do anything about it. Or, is it? If you’re a fan of the chick lit genre, I strongly urge you to check out Theresa Braun’s Groom and Doom: A Greek Love Story and add it to your reading lists!