Thursday, April 7, 2011

Review: "Upcountry" by R.M. Doyon

Jane Schumacher walked out of her childhood home ten years ago and she hasn't looked back since. She hasn't been in contact with her father or her twin sister, and she is quite happy with her life as a political aide for the Governor of New York. When she receives a life-changing phone call just before Thanksgiving, a series of events begins that will quickly spiral out of control. Jane returns home to see her father and her sister and to confront the demons of her past head-on with surprising results.

Upcountry was fast-paced and engaging. As you may know from reading my reviews on here, I tend to choose chick lit and women's fiction as my usual reading fare. Upcountry is neither chick lit nor women's fiction, but is instead the story of one woman who returns home to try to make amends for her ten-year absence. I wasn't sure when I first picked it up if it would be too different from my usual reading choices, but Doyon manages to incorporate action and drama and romance into the pages of this novel.

I had one small issue with the book, and that was with one particular plot point. In the beginning of the novel we learn that Jane hasn't talked to her twin sister for ten years. Jane returns home, there is a little awkwardness with her sister, and then suddenly she is protecting her fiercely. I understand that family will always be family, but if Jane had such strong feelings about protecting her sister, why would she not even speak to her for ten years? It seemed like a rather abrupt switch to me, which is my personal opinion more than anything.

Aside from that small issue, I really enjoyed Upcountry. There were lots of plot twists and turns (some predictable, some not), and the final chapters were impossible not to race through. I would certainly recommend this to someone looking for a smart novel that has a little something for everyone.

Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Challenges: 2011 100+ Reading Challenge, The Canadian Book Challenge 4


  1. A new book/author for me. Thanks for the post.

  2. Oh, I can see how that minor issue would be irritating! Still, this sounds like an interesting book, I'll add it to the TBR!

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Sorry for the deletion -- big typo.

    What you say about the sister issue makes perfect sense to me; glad to see that overall you enjoyed the book, especially since it is outside your usual reading zone :0

  5. Drives me nuts when characters in books aren't realistic - like the twins suddenly being inseparable. But it did sound good otherwise.

  6. Definitely different from the books I normally pick up, too, which can be a good thing! Sounds like a compelling read, though I'm sure I'd have the same quibble with the sister storyline.