Book Review: Tribute by Nora Roberts

I had always avoided books of Nora Roberts. For some reason, her book titles would create a minor emotional panic in my heart and I would move away from her section. I had this idea that ALL her books would be tragic and I might end up being teary-eyed at the end of it. Why did I think that way? I have no idea. However, couple of weeks back, I picked up this book in Calgary after lot of internal prodding about being brave about tragic books . "Tribute" read like the least of tragedies. No deaths, no loss of love, no heart-wrenching love letters. All it had was a strong woman's journey to find her true self. I sighed. It was relief.

The story is about a grown up former child actress, Cilla McGowen, grand-daughter of a legendary Hollywood actress who was single-mindedly determined to restore her dead grandmother's utterly neglected farm house much to her mother's chagrin who preferred her daughter's failed acting career. Cilla was a strong woman who, unlike her mother, knew her limitations in a acting career and had found her dream career in the art of home restoration. She comes back to the small town of her grandmother to kickstart her business only to find out that someone does not want her to do it and that someone can go great lengths including murder to stop her from doing it. This, ofcourse, does not stop our heroine from restoring the house. She is, obviously, flanked by a very handsome and sensitive writer-boyfriend who happens to live next door and found her to be his inspiration for his next book and also supportive friends and relatives who want nothing but happiness for this unfortunate child. The books ends almost about 350 pages later with a happy ending including a marriage. Yay!

The book was a good read though I do not agree it needs so many pages. There are times when you just want to skip through because it did not seem to be serving much purpose.

One other thing that I did not like or rather felt not too comfortable with was the suspense that the author was trying to keep. It was deliberate and though, she meant to mislead the reader so that they get a surprise ending, it kind of became very obvious of who should NOT be on the list. But to her credit, I found the ending a surprise but the motive did not look too strong to me. At least the attacks on Cilla seemed lame. I did understand the motive of the murderer's past crimes though.

Overall a good and relaxed read. You get some nice romance between Cilla and her writer-boyfriend which made up for whatever disappointment I felt. :) Recommended for a light read but beware, the book is heavy! :)

I loved the characterization! Nora Roberts made strong characters in the novel and I could almost guess their reactions. It was almost as if they were real people. Clear cut characters are so vital to a story that I cannot help but make a note of this to do during my second draft.

I could also not fail to note the immense research she has put in to home restoration/interior designing basics. She was very detailed about all the changes that Cilla would make in the detailed that you could almost imagine it. That was impressive. Research in to your character's profession/their specialisation would bring authenticity to the character.

Have you read this book? What is your review?


  1. She is too good to miss...First book I read was Innocent in Death and then I read her every book!

  2. Cilla, child actress turned house flipper, and Ford, a graphic artist, at first glance make an odd pairing for a romantic couple. However, Nora Roberts has scored a success with this hardcover in making this unlikely pairing work on several levels. The mystery/romance also works as Cilla tries to untangle the mystery of her famous actress/grandmother's death as well as threats to her own life.

    If you are a fan of Roberts you will also enjoy some glimpses into her hobby of gardening and the research she did on home restoration!


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