Sunday, January 12, 2014

What Would the Coxswain Do?

I picked Settling the Score by Christopher Koehler to review because my younger daughter was the coxswain on the Mt. Holyoke crew team and one of the protagonists in the novel is a cox for the CalPac crew team.  Unfortunately for me, there wasn't much about being a cox in the novel, and the crew team showed up only a couple of times.

But that wasn't the worst disappointment.  I keep looking at the cover of the book and wondering why out of all the things that could be on the cover of this book, the publisher chose two men and a toddler since the bulk of the book is about Stuart, trying to decide between trying out for the Olympic men's crew team and going to med school, and Philip who is trying to get solid control of the family business.

True, both stories have family elements--Philip's father is in prison and Stuart's fundamentalist parents have shaped their children's lives.  But a toddler as a predominant character?  Not hardly.

So we'll have to chalk this one up to the cover artist being given mixed messages by the editor, poor author Koehler having to live with the unfortunate choice, and readers going away shaking their heads.

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