Publication Date: January 15, 2014
In The End of the Line by Jim Powers, Latesha Thomas is a struggling college student caring for her disabled father and isn’t looking for love. When Peter Elsworth comes into her life, the pair has an instant electricity. She has a cat named Oprah and he has a fish named Dr. Phil. This couple is meant to be. There is a complication. Their parents are opposed to their union because Latesha is black and Peter is white. Can they work together to achieve happiness or is this relationship doomed before it gets off of the ground?
The author Jim Power gave me a copy of this novel in exchange for my review.
The End of the Line is a contemporary romance. There is a certain stepping-back-in-time flavor to the fictional Beechwood, Nova Scotia that may seem odd to readers who have not visited that province. Without the iPods and Verve Pipes, readers get the sense of a town stuck in time and the story buoys that feeling. Even so, after reading the first few chapters and realizing that the story is set in the modern day, I wondered—does the sort of racism that Latesha experiences really happen in Canada in the twenty-first century? I put the book down and did some searching for news stories of Nova Scotia and right at the top of this list is the linked story from 2010 (updated in 2012) from the Globe and Mail reporting the story of an interracial couple whose car was burned in protest of their union. We as humans have a long way to go.
Power clearly had a message that he wanted to convey and for the most part, he does so quite well. There are moments in the story where the reader has to wildly suspend disbelief. The characters, while likable, are developed poorly and rely heavily on racial and societal stereotypes. Latesha is beautiful and good. She has the air, innocence and the depth of a Disney princess without the spirit. The author seems to try to add some dimension to her character without really succeeding. Peter is a handsome and dashing man. You know from the moment he calls Latesha’s matchmaking agency that she will be the match he meets. The characters in The End of the Line are mostly good and evil, and there seems to be little progression with the few who change in a way that reads like more light bulb moment than believability.
There is a historical aspect to the novel that I found interesting and did wonder if perhaps Powers had considered writing a historically-based novel about the Underground Railroad. Here in Amherstburg (the busiest crossing of the Underground Railroad), we have the fabulously interesting North American Black Museum and Uncle Tom’s Cabin in Dresden, Ontario. Both sites are rich historically and dedicated to the Underground Railroad. Many people may not realize Nova Scotia’s history on the freedom trail. The information that Powers gives the reader is fascinating.
Powers saving grace is that the story is sweet and a clean romance.The End of the Line is YA-safe as the main characters do little more than a kiss. The extreme good vs. evil angle of the characters could also appeal to younger readers just heading into the adult market.
If you like straightforward romances with likable characters, you may enjoy The End of the Line. This novel has a large number of five-star reviews. Be sure to read their reviews along with mine before making your buying decision. If you pick it up and let me know what you think.
Read an excerpt and buy The End of the Line by Jim Powers on