Monday, November 28, 2011

Book Review: Conversations and Cosmopolitans by Robert and Jane Rave

This book is a memoir of sorts coauthored by a mother and son.  Robert Rave came out to his parents in a letter at the age of 21 and his announcement prompted his mother to embark on her own discovery of who she really was outside of her life as a mother and wife.  This book follows some of the conversations, emails, and life events they shared as they both became honest with each other and themselves about who they were.

The writing was somewhat less than impressive for me. There were portions that rang true and genuine, especially from Jane, but a lot of Robert's writing was awkward, particularly his dialogue.  It seemed stiff and unnatural.  I also felt like several sections didn't really serve any purpose in the book.  It was kind of like hearing a coworker tell you a series of unrelated, mundane stories along the lines of "then I pulled the milk carton out of the fridge and - you'll never guess - the milk had gone bad!"  And you nod along and pretend to be amused but really you're just wondering why they think this is significant enough to tell.  In the book's case there were plenty of moments that fit perfectly and were truly significant but also a fair amount that were kind of dull and meaningless.

Entertainment Value
I suppose the dull parts could fit in this section as well.  I was just bored with too many portions to say it was truly entertaining.  There were some very funny stories, but overall it just didn't resonate with me in any particularly attention grabbing way.  I was ready for it to be over.  I also hate to say this, since Robert Rave is obviously a real person, but man he drove me nuts with the doormat behavior.  Several times in the book I wanted his mama to grab him by the shoulder and shake him and tell him to stop letting people take advantage of him.  It's probably because I have a thing for mamas in general, but I did truly love Jane.  She was adorable and obviously a loving and devoted mother. 

Overall: Meh.  I think there are better books to spend your time on - it gets a "do not recommend".  But, as always, I am grateful to the author and TLC Tours for giving me the opportunity to read it and I suggest that you take a look at the recommendations of other bloggers on the tour.  You can click here to find the list.


  1. Oh nooooo the description had me, I thought that must be a sweet emotional book, I enjoy reading emails etc, sigh.

    Won't try this one. Thanks for the honest review.

  2. Darn, I'm sorry this one didn't work for you, but thanks for being on the tour!

  3. Marce - you may still want to give it a try - I was hoping for more along the lines of emails and conversations since I like those too, but it did have some very sweet, emotional moments.

    Heather - Thanks for including me on the tour - from what I can see a lot of the other reviewers loved it, so I hope my readers will check those out too!