Daily Archives: February 21, 2014

The Longest Holiday by Paige Toon

As soon as I finished Pictures of Lily, which I enjoyed reading, I immediately grabbed The Longest Holiday off my shelf. I was quite excited to read this book because of the positive feedbacks this book is getting from its readers. I just hope it will have the same effect on me. (P.S. This may contain spoilers.)

Here’s the plot description from the back cover of the book:

The Longest Holiday cover‘Don’t wait for the storm to pass; learn to dance in the rain…’

Laura has been married to the man of her dreams for seven months. But a week before the wedding, Matthew made a terrible mistake.

Escaping the humiliation that is now her marriage, Laura is whisked off to Florida’s Key West by her best friend Marty. A carefree holiday full of cocktails and fun, surrounded by gorgeous, tanned men, is exactly what the doctor ordered.

Distraction comes in the form of sexy Cuban scuba diver Leo. Laura’s instant attraction to him knocks her flying, and she falls hard.

As the end of the holiday approaches, Laura doesn’t want to go home. Is it time to face the music? Or is there more to Key West than a holiday romance?

There seems to be a recurring theme in Paige Toon’s books I’ve read so far. The heroine is presented with a conflict which puts her in a situation of struggling to choose between two men she loves. It isn’t always an easy choice for the protagonists. There would be pros and cons and it will leave readers guessing who the protagonists will choose in the end. And evidently, this is also what happens in The Longest Holiday.

The blurb doesn’t mention about the cause of the conflict in specific, only that Matthew has made a mistake. This alone sparks my curiosity to find out what the mistake is that pushes Laura to take some time off with her friend to Key West. Knowing Laura’s decision to do that somehow gives me an idea that the mistake isn’t something shallow or something to be forgotten that easily. The beginning of the story doesn’t immediately reveal this mistake and the suspense is killing me! I’m itching to find out about it, so once it’s revealed to me after turning a few more pages, the detail shocks me just as it surprises Laura.

I totally understand how Laura feels after discovering the news. If I were in her position, I would’ve reacted the same way. But maybe instead of taking some time off to have some space, I would face the problem the soonest possible. On the other hand, if Laura does this, there wouldn’t be any story arc this good as The Longest Holiday. From England and Australia, the story now sets in America. It’s like I’ve toured around the world without ever having to leave my seat! Amazing, right? Even the way Paige Toon described Key West projects a calm, relaxing scenery – a great place to escape from any stress in life. Moreover, Paige Toon also succeeds in familiarizing the subject about diving. I may not be a fan of any water-related type of hobby or sport, but Paige Toon manages to make diving a memorable experience to those who simply want to try. This might even convince the readers to learn diving.

I’m really amazed with Laura’s immediate attraction to Leo. It’s evident in the way she confidently shows her interest in him through her actions and thoughts. I can’t quite actually understand her strong adoration because since the beginning, Leo seems distant and unapproachable. Her aggressiveness in a sense that she often takes the initiative to strike a conversation with Leo deems as borderline desperation for me. There are also times when I think Laura is being childish. But these don’t necessarily make the book less interesting to me. I’m glad that Paige Toon isn’t biased as she is able to portray Matthew as someone who can be likeable to the readers as well.

Overall, I did not expect to like this book so much! Paige Toon manages to solve the controversial issues she brought up in the book without any sugarcoating or so and I couldn’t ask for a better ending. The last portion of the book is what catches me off guard. I’m shocked when there’s been a change in the point of view from Laura. This definitely changes my impression on Leo. It’s like this change symbolizes Leo’s willingness and openness to let readers hear his thoughts and feelings, as well as his decision to finally allow the people important to him to enter his life. I truly had fun reading this book. I can’t wait for Thirteen Weddings!