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Posted October 3, 2011
The cover is so bright, that's what caught my attention in the Facebook group, Review Seekers when author MaryPat Hyland asked for reviews for her book. I looked it over, but for some reason I was expecting something different from this tale. Right away it goes into the tragedy of 9/11 and I admit that my eyes rolled and I nearly put the book down. Honestly I can't take the rabid patriot behavior surrounding that day, and was afraid this book would be full of it. Pleasantly surprised that she dealt with it in a way that it was a fact of life, and was honest about the way that so many people became paranoid and even more racist against people of Arab decent than ever before.
Elaina, even though she has lived a VERY sheltered life, was upset and horrified by the events, but refused to judge all people by that one day. In fact, across the street 3 cousins opened a car dealership/repair shop. Elaina became good friends with Zahir, the young man who ran the repair business. One day when Elaina was stuck by the side of the road, Zahir was the only one who stopped by to help her. They became fast friends and Elaina and her father defended and recommended Zahir to all their customers.
Elaina also befriends Rhey, a homosexual (yes this is an important characteristic because it's the only thing keeping them from being a couple - lol) artist from New York, who has returned home after a recent break-up to open a gallery at the old drive-in theater. Rhey is a lively character, and brings out the best in Elaina. He is constantly pushing her to be more spontaneous. When he goes on a month long cruise with his aunt, Elaina meets a sailor and elopes. Oh, poor Elaina has no idea who she just married. Part of her decision was based on her sister eloping with a friend and fellow cellist from Germany. It gets bad really fast, and the guy uses the "I'm a vet" line far too often that people start wondering if he really is.
I could not like Elaina's mother. She ran off without a word to anyone with the first nice guy to walk in the diner because she felt trapped. Did she bother discussing that with Walt - seems like he only bought the diner because it was in her family. That really annoyed me because she ditched not only him but her 2 girls. And while she said it was just because of feeling trapped, did she write the girls, call them, send them cards and gifts? Nope, not a thing until DeeDee (the sister) calls her to invite her to the marriage party Walt is throwing. And even then she was reluctant about returning, it just came off as so selfish. And I'm not sure if that was intentional or not.
The Terminal Diner has a great pace and while it is only 162 pages, it all fits in perfectly. Although I would have liked more romance between Walt (Elaina's father) and Angie - a long-time waitress in the diner.
I enjoyed the story, one of those coming of age tales that we all love so much.
Posted August 24, 2011
Elaina's mother left when she was sixteen. Her only advice - "Men like pies." So Elaina has spent the past twelve years working in the family diner making the best pies in the state. Her sister has a life, her friends have a life, but her life is the diner and making pies that men love. Then 9-11 happens and her life (and the lives of many others) will never be the same.
For some reason I started reading this book expecting a murder mystery. There is murder and a bit of mystery, but I would classify this as more of a romance than a murder mystery. The story centers around a group of people and a diner located close to the airport (hence the name of the diner).
I'll be honest, for the first several chapters of this book I was very bored. I know that the author had to lay some groundwork for the story to make sense, but the story just plodded along. Then, all of the sudden, it picked up and I couldn't put the book down. There were a couple of characters that could have been developed a bit more to help with the story line, but for the most part I enjoyed the book once I made it past those first few chapters. I will definitely be checking out her other books.
I received this book free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion.