Review of Blueprints by Barbara Delinsky

BlueprintsBlueprints by Barbara Delinsky
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Caroline and Jamie are a mother/daughter home improvement duo who work together on the popular local television show, Gut It! The show is sponsored by the successful home construction company, MacAfee Homes, which is operated by Jamie’s father, and Caroline’s ex-husband, Roy MacAfee. Mother and daughter are very close. Even though there’s no love lost between Roy and Caroline, and Jamie struggles to please the tyrannical Roy, mother and daughter are able to maintain a solid, loving relationship – until…

When Roy decides to demote Caroline (a master carpenter) from her position as host of Gut It! and replace her with Jamie (a professional architect), things hit the fan. Roy places the burden of breaking the news to Caroline on Jamie – on Caroline’s 56th birthday no less. Jamie just can’t hurt her mother this way. Telling her that she’s too old to host the show is too cruel for Jamie to bear so she puts it off for one entire agonizing day. Unfortunately, Roy’s daylong impatience causes him to send producer, Claire, to do Jamie’s dirty work and Claire is none too happy to deliver the bad news. What follows from there is enough drama to make any daytime soap opera writer envious.

There is so much drama going on in this book that it literally does read like a soap opera. Jamie and Caroline start out with an incredibly close mother/daughter relationship, but then suddenly Caroline is thinking that somehow Jamie schemed her way into the Gut It! host role. This did not ring true at all to me.

The going back and forth about ageism and sexism was beaten over the reader’s head far too often and for far too many pages. We got it. Caroline is 56 and is feeling old. If she were a man, this would never happen. Maybe it’s time for Botox. And on and on. Although, show carpenter, Dean, longs to show Caroline just how sexy and appealing she still is, as he follows her around like a lovesick puppy. Caroline returns his affection with questions, brick walls and a barrage of silly ruminations.

Then, as if all of this isn’t bad enough, Roy and his much younger wife (yes, that old cliché) die in a car crash. Jamie is left to raise her two-year-old half brother, Tad, alone since her fiancé, Brad, is no help – he’s either too tired or too busy playing golf. After having custody of Tad for just one day, Jamie is wondering if he just might be autistic (really?) and she’s ready to hire a full-time nanny. Yet, we’re supposed to believe Jamie has been a constant presence in Tad’s life up to that point. And, finally, the author’s tendency of placing some of Jamie’s dialogue in alphabetical order was, “(a) irritating and (b) even more irritating.”

This is the first book I’ve read by this author, and I’d have to honestly say it does not motivate me to read any others. It went on far longer than it should have. As much as I hate to say this, I cannot recommend Blueprints.

eBook Review Gal received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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