My review of A midwinter night’s dream: The Broccoli the Stilton and the haystack by Samuel J. White.
A Midwinter Night’s Dream was an interesting read. I didn’t know too much about it before I purchased it, but I quickly realized it was a romance story, which is not my usual cup of tea. Thus, it didn’t catch my attention the way it would someone who really enjoys romantic stories. It’s sweet and heart warming.
The flow of the story was a bit confusing at first, but as the characters start to come to more understanding of the situation, it starts to make more sense. You jump between the scene in the haystack (which starts the book), to time past it. Their development in their relationship moves a bit quickly, but I suppose part of that is to represent the gaps of time we are not seeing entirely. A lot of the story felt a bit tedious, since it was slow moving at time, and there were some repetitive lines and actions. As the story progressed, there was more conflict and the story got more interesting. It would have been easier to read for me personally, too, if there had been more chapter breaks, rather than long scenes.
I had trouble getting into either of the main characters. Rob seems almost too perfect. He accepts and understands everything, including all of Kat’s flaws, without question. While it is an ideal for many people, it is a bit unrealistic. There wasn’t much conflict in his character until far later, and I found him much more interesting after that hit. Kat started as a more interesting character, beautifully flawed and painfully aware of her shortcomings, but the more we learned about her, the more those flaws disappeared. Even when she was making mistakes, it felt like she could do no wrong. Part of this was the way Rob was looking at her (since the story is from his POV), and part of it is just her development as a whole. I feel more conflict between the two, and a more gradual build-up to their relationship would have been more interesting to me personally.
The writing overall was easy to read. I noticed a few typos and grammar mistakes, but nothing that made it difficult to read. Kat purposely is written with bad English, but it’s understandable, and flows very well with the rest of the style. The conversation flowed nicely overall, though there were a few scenes where it seemed abruptly broken up by action without any real transition. The pacing was a bit slow in the first half, but found a good, steady beat in the second half.
I found the ending to be very strange, and I felt disconnected from the story in the ending scene. I feel like it would have almost been better ending the story without the explanation, though I understand why the need for a perfectly happy ending, especially after dropping some of the more disheartening information near the end. I feel like if there was foreshadowing to some of the events near the ending (particularly regarding Sally), it would have been easier to swallow and not seem so abrupt.
Overall, I would recommend the book to readers who enjoy a sweet romance, but it wasn’t a story for me.