Review: Pretty Flamingo By Perry Martin

Phil smiled despite himself, and Julie grinned briefly, then immediately winced in pain. A sudden thought occured to her, and she said, “I hate to say this, but…I don’t think the fact that you might have been hypnotized into forgetting all about this girl is a good thing, David.”

David nodded. “I know. I’ve been thinking about that, too. And trying not to think about it at the same time!”

Julie regarded David sympathetically. “You could just leave well enough alone. You’ve discovered a wonderful part of your life, David. For some reason, something you thought you’d lost has been almost magically returned to you. You’ve recovered this beautiful, almost fairy-tale teenage love affair. Why not just leave it at that?”

These are the kind of reviews that I hate to write. On one hand, I loved the story. It was a love story filled with young love, love lost, one-of-a-kind memories, a bit of the paranormal and reincarnation. It was a “coming of age” story.

But, on the other hand, there were some problems that really distracted from the story. I’ll get to that part later.

There’s a song from the 60’s from Manfred Mann, called “Pretty Flamingo”, which this book is based around. The characters dance and sing the song whenever they can. I listened to it; it’s not bad.

In this romance novel, David is a muscian/producer of music, originally from Australia, but now living in California. Non-committal David seems to have been unlucky in love most of his life. He’s just never been able to find that “perfect” girl yet.

Now, in his 50’s, he’s been having flashbacks of a sort; flashbacks to a time when he did have the perfect girl. She was captivating to him, capturing his heart the moment they saw each other. All they wanted to do was be together….together forever.

David is an emotional sort of guy, crying or tearing up quite often in the book. Women like sensitive men, but this guy goes a little over the top. Anyway, David (as an adult) begins to have severe headaches, seeing flashes of light and hearing a beautiful voice telling him not to forget. These happenings literally knock him over, sending him into these vivid memories from 1969 when he was just 16 years old.

These aren’t just ordinary dreams either. He is literally transported to that time (from 2004 California to 1969 Australia). In a matter of a few hours, he relives days/weeks/months.

On one trip, he meets Lisa, his “Pretty Flamingo”. She is 14 and when they look at each other, it’s like they knew they were meant for each other. Their love, they affectionately call it, is a “love beyond love”.

Periodically David will be transported back to the present day. But because he’s rather enjoying ‘re-living’ these memories that he seems to have forgotten (but doesn’t know why he’s forgotten), he keeps willing himself back to 1969.

On one occasion, a heinous crime is committed against Lisa. David finds Lisa in a pool of her own blood, after having been brutally attacked by her ex-step-father. Lisa had been sexually abused by this man before, but this time he does something so horrific to her, that reading it made me feel ill. Even after the girl is found, and the story progresses, I continued to imagine what had happened to her. Although the attack itself was not written, the evidence the attack left behind was. It was bad.

David sort of loses it, ending up in the psychiatric unit of the hospital. No matter what answers he gives the psychiatrist, his answers are never correct, landing him into an experimental treatment that he didn’t want, which helps him to forget everything, including Lisa.

Lisa always told David not to forget their love, and that he must try to find her, because she might forget. She was speaking about reincarnation. They both firmly believed in coming back in another’s body, but they often wondered how they would find each other again.

Ok, I did like this book. I did. But……it was far too wordy. This book would be great if the author split this book in half, taking out all the extra stuff that I don’t need to know about, and keeping the story.

For example, this is just some text from the book: He stumbled into the bathroom and turned the light on. Opening one of the drawers, he found the toothbrush, took it out of it’s wrapping, and squirted toothpaste on it. He ran cold water, swiped the brush under it, and then began brushing his teeth.

This sort of thing is a little distracting, especially when this sort of wordiness is throughout the whole novel. The only reason I plugged my way through the book was because I liked the premise of the book. If you can get past the wordiness, it’s a great story. There’s also a lot of repetition, phrases that are said over and over again, but the wordiness is more distracting. I felt it took away from the story. I’m giving this story 3 stars.

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “Review: Pretty Flamingo By Perry Martin

  1. Well done review, Beth. It doesn’t quite sound like the kind of genre I would be reading in.

  2. The premise of the book was something that I would again read, and I did like the book…except for the wordiness of it. However, I’m not perfect either.

  3. Reading the excerpt in the beginning of this post made me realize why I’m turned off by romances. I haven’t read an excerpt in this genre yet that makes me want to delve into it right away.

    Years ago I was the biggest romance fan (maybe I’ve just grown older and less tolerant). I loved the strong, silent type of guy. He would be independently wealthy, stoic and possibly a bit arrogant. What happened? Or am I just not picking out the right types of romance novels?

    • I love romances…of a sort. I’m not much for reading Harlequins, but this one sounded good, I guess because of the paranormal/reincarnation premise…and it had a lot of good reviews.

      I also like the strong, silent type…not necessarily independently wealthy or arrogant…but definitely one that would defend his woman at all costs.

  4. I’m not one for unnecessary details either. It takes more talent to say more with fewer words. At least that’s my opinion. I do know people who live for details like these though, so books like this do have a place. To each his own, right?

  5. The Desert Rocks

    Nice review Beth and I love that you told the whole truth about it. You are a true “love beyond love.”

  6. Mike Saxton

    I actually went to the Amazon page and found 17 5-star reviews, almost all were no longer than a couple of sentences and almost all of the reviewers have only reviewed a few things. Can anyone say “friends and family”? I don’t really care if friends review a book, as long as it’s honest, but there were only 2 thought out reviews on there, yours and one other.

    • And, there is nothing wrong with friends and family giving a good review. However, I’ve learned my lesson as well….beta readers and a good editor are what is needed…

      When I first published, I didn’t know even what a beta reader was…and I couldn’t afford an editor…now I have both…I think every author should utilize both of these to make their work clean and inviting.

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