REVIEW: [Un]common Ground by Erica Abbott and Pol Robinson
A single-minded government employee, a former Peace Corps volunteer, far too many goats, and one stray dog…what could possibly go wrong?
Sara’s entire life has been nomadic—developing and growing sustainable sources of food in small rural communities has meant no place to call her own. Now she’s ready to come home, focus her efforts on her own country’s food deserts, and settle into life in the Pacific Northwest. But just as she plants her roots, things begin to unravel.
Margaret is a city planner. She’s tough, ambitious, and smart. She’s also determined to get what she wants for her city, the taxpayers, and her own career. The only obstacle on the path to her success? An equally determined woman named Sara.
Two women, worlds apart, clearly have no common ground between them…or do they?
It was the goat baby who got me. I mean, how cute is that cover. Sadly, there are not as many goats in the actual story as I was hoping for. Goat cheese, yes, but not goats. Anyway, I think your working partnership has produced a nice book. I had a few issues but overall the writing style is nice and I liked meeting Sara and the Dustys.
The conflict between the two women is believable. Margaret (or should we call her Dusty 1) is trying to broker a building in prime downtown Seattle in order to get a major business to locate there. This would bring hundreds of jobs and lotsa moolah to the city. Sara wants the same building to house urban gardens in order to alleviate some of the food desert for area working poor who can’t afford good quality fresh produce. Two equally noble goals but only one building.
I tagged the review with “enemies to lovers” but it’s actually more opponents to lovers with a meet-uncute to start things off. Controlled Margaret and Granola Sara are about as opposite as can be but I liked that both women are intelligent, focused, and looking to do good even if in vastly different ways. I could cheer and pull for both of them. After their less than stellar initial encounter, they both act like adults during the blind date their (unknowing) mothers set up between them. I was all set for some snit fits so when they decided to enjoy dinner (since they were hungry and already there) then acted their age, it was a nice surprise.
The arrival of Dusty 2 – the dog – showed how Sara cares directly for those who need help but also how Margaret is willing to do her share for an abandoned animal. The women both see beyond their initial impressions of each other both during the dinner and afterwards while helping a “down on her luck” dog.
Then things kind of drifted a bit as the reason for the conflict between the two gets put aside while they get to know each other better. I enjoyed watching them do this but wasn’t sure I could believe that they wouldn’t at least talk about the building they both wanted. Then there were Sara’s past relationship issues that were sort of trotted out for the moment before then being shoved aside and forgotten.
The final “third act” conflict was actually set up fairly well across the whole story so even though it came from nowhere for the characters, it didn’t seem to from the reader’s POV. Margaret’s relationship with her building mate and Saturday tea drinker, Mrs. Stein, is lovely. Dusty 2, the dog, is sweet and the physical side of Margaret and Sara is hot while the solution to the problem between them sounds realistic. I did enjoy the story but there was just a bit of choppy backstory and I wanted more goats. B-