Meant to Be

Meant to Be

Large Print - 2021
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It's 1972 and times are changing. In the small farming community of Mason, Kansas, Vera and Kelly Exton are known for their ambitions. Vera is an activist who wants to join her boyfriend in the Peace Corps. But she is doing her duty caring for her widowed mother and younger sister until Kelly is firmly established. Kelly is studying to become a veterinarian. She plans to marry her childhood sweetheart and eventually take over his father's veterinary practice. But it's a tumultuous time and neither sister is entirely happy with the path that's been laid out for her. As each evaluates her options, everything shifts. Do you do what's right for yourself or what others want? By having the courage to follow their hearts these women will change lives for the better and the effects will be felt by the generations that follow.
Publisher: Waterville, Maine : Thorndike Press, a part of Gale, a Cengage Company, 2021.
Edition: Large Print edition.
ISBN: 9781432885663
1432885669
Characteristics: 639 pages (large print) ; 23 cm

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SJZB2020
Apr 15, 2021

I enjoyed "Meant to Be" for the most part. It's a multi-generational story set in fictitious "Mason" Kansas which is near the real town of Ottowa. It also mentions trips to Overland Park, Leawood and other real places in Kansas. The issue that bothers me is that some of the characters often go to Kansas City, specifically the Plaza area. Apparently the author (nor her editor or proofreader) know that there are TWO cities named Kansas City (KC Kansas and KC Missouri) and the Plaza is on the Missouri side. Additionally, in her Acknowledgments the author states she really enjoyed learning about Kansas, what a great place it is and that "the Chiefs won!", seemingly without a clue that the KC Chiefs are based in Missouri. While these mistakes shouldn't take away from the book they were distracting. An author of this renown should be above such sloppy errors.

c
cathy22
Apr 01, 2021

This book wasn’t that great. I really didn’t enjoy it. It was way too long!

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Ginamarguerite
Mar 27, 2021

I'm kind of mixed on this one. I've been a Jude Deveraux fan since I "discovered" her in 1978 with the Enchanted Land. Her books took me through many experiences, both good and bad. She's long been one of my favorites and continues to be a go to read. I'm not a fan of women's fiction -- they usually seem like depressing reads and there's enough sadness in "real life" to read about it in my "escape life".

This one started out fantastic. I grew up in the 1970's, went to my fair share of anti-war demonstrations and had a boyfriend become an Army Ranger during Viet Nam. I also remember it as being a simpler, most honest time and those feelings come through in the first part of the book that starts in 1972. I loved the characters, Adam, Kelly, Vira and Miguel. I loved how they found their ways to each other and not just them but their parents. I suspected what was going on with Paul and was glad he got his own happy ending so to speak. It seems very much like it's Vera's story but it is also Kelly's. I loved how she was with the different animals....I'd love to have her as our vet.

When the story moved to 1991 I was lost. I flipped back a few pages to see where all these new characters came from. It didn't make sense and there was no back story to how they got there. All of a sudden I was in the middle of another story. Until some of the characters from 1972 showed up I wondered if it were 3 different books in one volume. I kept reading and felt more and more Deveraux should have done it as a series or a trilogy. There was enough material, especially with the book ending in 2019. And SPOILER SPACE

WHAT was wrong with Vera. It was a sad ending to the book and I got teary, but WHAT happened? It was like Deveraux had a deadline and just moved to finish the book instead of giving the kind of endings I expect from her. Yes, it could have ended the way it did, but I needed more which is why I say it would have been great as a trilogy. There was plenty of material, the characters were interesting enough and there was enough going on around the world in those time periods the characters could have been drawn to.

Overall I liked the book....at 413 pages it was one I kept picking up rather than do other things that needed to get done including staying up till 3 in the morning to keep reading last night.

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