Barbara Taylor Bradford's Her Own Rules is about a woman who seems to have it all. Two great kids and a very successful business. But there's an underlying sadness inside Meredith, one even she doesn't understand.
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It seems that a whole chunk of her childhood is gone from her memory. We, the readers know part of the story of her childhood, but not all of it.
Meredith doesn't really think about her missing years until she starts having physical symptoms and flashes of memories. That's when she decides it's time to figure out exactly what happened to a little girl nearly 40 years ago. She starts to see a psychiatrist, who helps her open up, and remember her past.
The story is interesting enough. I did want to fill in the gaps and understand what happened all those years ago.
But the book, itself, is dull. Very dull. Basically nothing exciting happens throughout most of the book. Only at the very end, when all is revealed, does it get exciting. Before then, we just follow Meredith around. She spends most of her time ignoring her past and concentrating on her work. She also starts a relationship with a man. She does all the things that normal people do. Only occasionally does she actually work on herself, trying to figure out the missing pieces.
While she's working, and dating, and going on about her life, absolutely nothing happens related to the main story. I kept waiting for stuff to happen, but it just didn't. We get to know her friends, and we get to understand her job, but that's about it.
As far as character development goes, we do get to understand Meredith a bit. We can understand why she subconsciously repressed horrible memories from her childhood. But other than Meredith, we don't get to really know anyone else. Not that it matters; this book is all about Meredith. Everyone else is just "extra". No one else really makes any difference in the main story.
The ending is interesting, but I didn't like what it took to get there. The payoff simply is not big enough, given the time it took to get there. I can not recommend this book for anyone. It's just too dull, with too little reward at the end.
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