Take the Lead provides a snapshot into the life of Gabriel, a journalism professor at Boston University. The story, told in first person present, follows Gabriel through several months of his life, as he struggles with aging, family illness, romance, and life in general.It should be noted that, while the story includes romantic themes, this is not necessarily the main focus of the story. As a result, I would hesitate to call this a romance, and I find the blurb misleading in that respect.
Although I'm generally not a fan of first person present tense narrative, for the most part it is seamless and hardly noticed. First person narrative also provides better insight into the main character as he wanders through the story.
I liked the main character, and his persona or perspective, as he tells his story. He was easy to identify with from the beginning, as the story (r)ambled along at a slow, easy pace. Unfortunately, it never really picked up, and I found myself skimming almost half of the book, waiting for something to 'happen'. While this was obviously intended to be an introspective book, I found it wanting due to a lack of defined plot, or character development. At the same time I found the story to be overflowing with excess detail/ background or events, and several times I found myself asking "Why do I need to know this"?
I struggled with the rating because of this- while nothing contained within the story really grabbed my attention, I enjoyed the general tone or style of the writing (though it was, on occasion, a bit too sweet). I would like to see more from this author, particularly when (if?) he is able to focus the storyline more and strip the content down to the raw bones. Three stars, which is probably generous - tipped up b/c I liked the gentle flow of the words:) and the sense of calm enjoyment they evoked.