Potter Springs Review
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Potter Springs tells the story of Mark Reynolds and Amanda Thompson, a young couple living in Houston, Texas. Amanda is from a wealthy family, and Mark is a minister at a very high-profile Baptist church. When they find out that Amanda is pregnant—before their wedding—Mark is fired from his job, and they have to relocate to a small town in the Oklahoma panhandle called Potter Springs.

When Amanda has a miscarriage and finds out that it will be impossible for her to conceive children in the future, she plunges into a deep depression and becomes reclusive, not letting anyone in—even her husband. After an extended trip back to Houston, she takes a wrong turn toward Mexico and continues that way, running away from her husband, her problems, and her life in Potter Springs. As a hurricane closes in, Mark rushes to Mexico in the hopes of saving his marriage.

I really didn’t care much for this book. Britta Coleman is a first-time novelist, and her writing tends to be very overdone and clichéd at times. Her use of simile is so abundant that it becomes more of a distraction than anything else, and the underlying message is so heavy-handed that it sours the story. (When Amanda is trying to decide whether or not to go home, she sees a gardener working without gloves. He continually cuts his hand on the thorns, and she asks him why he puts up with it. His response: “It is worth it for the roses.” Amanda, of course, ends up interpreting this as a metaphor for life.) I found it difficult to like the main characters—maybe I’m a cynic, but I grew very impatient with Amanda in her depressive state and found myself questioning her motivations. I couldn’t help but wonder why she didn’t get therapy or seek out adoption or alternative fertilization techniques when she found out that she couldn’t conceive. I was intrigued in the beginning by some of the smaller characters—the townspeople of Potter Springs—but they turned out to be little more than stereotypes. I would have really liked to see those characters fleshed out more. And the cop-out happy ending was sappy, saccharine-sweet, and unrealistic.

Basically, Potter Springs is a soap-opera-style story where love conquers all, regardless of the circumstances. It’s a quick read, and it's just fine if you’re the hopeless romantic type. But if you’re looking for a strong story with characters that resonate with you, I’d skip this one.

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