(CCLaP is dedicated to reviewing as many contemporary books as possible, including self-published volumes; click here to learn how to submit your own book for possible review, although be warned that it needs to have been published within the last 18 months to be considered. For the complete list of all books reviewed here, as well as the next books scheduled to be read, click here.)
Principles of Navigation
By Lynn Sloan
Reviewed by Jason Pettus
Getting the details right of a character-heavy domestic drama is a lot harder than it might seem at first; although by definition this genre is marked by storylines "that could happen to anybody," the author still has to make those particular people going through it this time unique and compelling on their own, bring something new to the subject of divorce or addiction or at-risk teens that makes us glad that we took the time to read that particular book. And unfortunately Lynn Sloan's Principles of Navigation is not up to the task, a novel that's certainly not badly done in terms of the actual mechanics of putting a story together, but that really obsessively follows several of the standard tropes of the domestic drama exactly (they're trying to get pregnant, he's having an affair, everyone is quietly miserable, etc etc) without bringing any new insights or even compelling reasons to follow along with this particular couple going through the problems this particular time. Another good example of a type of book CCLaP is getting sent on an increasing basis -- a novel that is just not-terrible enough to justify its existence on the forgotten back shelves of Amazon, but that doesn't bring even a single new thing to the hundreds of years and millions of titles of the literary industry it's entering -- this gets an A for effort but a D for originality, averaged out to the so-so score it's receiving today.
Out of 10: 7.1