Continuing my summer reading here at Ella's house.
I can remember a summer when I was 10 or 11, when I set out to win the summer reading award from the public library in our little town. The contest kicked off as soon as school let out. There were tracking sheets with caterpillars printed on them, and you earned stamps that filled the segments of his body. If you finished one caterpillar, you started on another one. Depending on your age, you had to read books of a certain difficulty level and complete a short book report. I was driven! By the final day of the contest, I was at 73 chapter books. Don't even remember what the prize was, but I do recall several of the books and series that became favorites.
This summer, one on my favorites was Beating the Bounds by Sarah Coltman. This was her first book and an impressive debut!
So here goes my second summer book report.
Title: Beating the Bounds
Author: Sarah Coltman
Number of Pages: 71
Theme(s): tradition, boundaries, accountability
- Ami - Sweet, genuine, kind, and nurturing. A mature wife, but once her feathers get ruffled, she's a force to be reckoned with.
- Dan - Ami's loving husband. Honest, trustworthy, and hard-working. A real thinker, too. Patient, but only so far. Don't underestimate Dan. It takes two to make the fireworks go off under the sheets. And if Dan decides Ami needs to be spanked, be assured it will happen. Still waters run deep.
- Polly - Ami's favorite shopping friend. A little scatter-brained. Just the kind of friend that tells you how great you look in
Setting: Willow Farm outside a small village in contemporary rural England.
All the Other Book Report Stuff!
Since this is Sarah's first book, she spends a good amount of time to give us a solid background of Ami and Dan. I just love the way she chose to do this, though. Instead of lumping all those important memories and events into one chapter, the author lets us glimpse this younger Ami and Dan in a series of flashbacks scattered throughout the first half of the book. When Sarah took us back in time to when Dan came to Ami's front door, it was like a snapshot in an album. The description of Ami in a mini-skirt put their relationship in perspective. I understood just how long they had been together. Beautiful.
Something else that made Sarah's first book special was the way she used point of view. It seems that most spanking fiction is written from the female point of view, and that's fine since I would imagine that most of the readers are female. In Beating the Bounds, we bounce back and forth between both Ami and Dan's points of view. It gives some depth to Daniel's character that would otherwise be missing.
The author doesn't make you wait long for the good stuff. The opening chapter delivers both a stunning sex scene and a lovely, ouchy spanking. Certainly made me want to read on. You won't be disappointed.
Totally enjoyed Ami's shopping trip with her friend, Polly! It was funny as hell, and this part of the story was just the comic relief the
reader needed. Ami is mesmerized by a shop window, tempted by the little plastic card, and finds a surprise on her car's windscreen when the commuter train finally brings her home.
Finally, the book's title comes from a village tradition described to Ami early in the story. She and Dan experience the tradition first hand with the other parishioners of their church. So when Dan decides that Ami needs to be held accountable for her careless and impulsive actions, "beating the bounds" becomes a metaphor. Ami has her boundaries set, too, and the tradition comes to life. It makes for a tight and purposeful plot and one hell of a spanking!
Be on the lookout for Sarah's next book! She has hinted that it will be out soon. Read on!