The Landing by Susan Johnson

the landing

I finished this book weeks ago. And yet… I’m still struggling with the review.

I really should have loved this book. And yet…

Firstly, it had a local setting, South East Queensland and Brisbane. I’m from Queensland and I lived in Brisbane for several years and the descriptions of it are spot on. I even got a little sentimental about the city at times.

The Landing itself is a fictional seaside (or lakeside actually) town supposedly a couple of hours north of Brisbane. It could be any number of real life places though. Small communities where affluent city folk search for their tree/sea change.

Even without the setting, the age of the main characters should have popped this book on my favourites list immediately. I love older characters and this book is chock full of them, mostly in crisis. And yet…

Most of the focus is on Penny and Jonathan. Both are in middle aged, with marital issues and children issues and aging parent issues and career issues.

I did like Penny a lot. I got a little weepy several times when reading about her and her life. And yet, in the end, I was severely underwhelmed by Penny’s outcome. I came away thinking I had all this lovely background and some conflict with Penny’s plot, but no resolution.

Jonathan, however… I thought for a while I was close to liking him, but I certainly never fell in love with him.  His ending, again, felt wrong.

I need to mention the cover too in this review. The cover is just shockingly unsuitable for the book. This is definitely feminine literature. The cover to me screams romantic fluff. (I love romantic fluff, so I’m not bashing that at all. In fact, I requested this book as an ARC because of the pretty cover, and that might be why I’ve struggled since finishing. There is no romantic fluff.)

So… After several weeks, I’m still undecided as to whether or not I even liked the book. I think I’ll give it 3 ½ stars.

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