Goddess of Spring is the type of light romance that I normally avoid, but I borrowed it on the recommendation of a good friend. Goddess of Spring centers around Carolina, a middle-aged woman who’s been unromanced by love and runs a bakery in modern-day Oklahoma. After discovering her business is becoming a financial failure, her attempt to bring in a new recipe instead summons Demeter who offers to help her by switching her soul with that of Persephone for six months. The catch is that while Persephone is breathing new life into the bakery, Lina has to use Persephone’s body to perform some unknown task in the Underworld without letting anyone know that she’s really mortal. While there, she befriends new spirit Eurydice (whose constant referral to as a girl made me frequently forget her age) and naturally falls in love with Hades, who she finds tall, dark, sexy, brooding and very Batman-esque, even though Demeter warned her that Hades is a bit off. It felt vaguely like I was reading a Bronte novel for a while. Now cue the inevitable angst about not being able to reveal her identity to the man she loves, some steamy scenes (obligatory ‘FEEL THE HEAT’ Kingdom Hearts reference), and of course, the misunderstanding that threatens the heroine’s one chance of happiness with her true love. (Don’t worry, it all works out in the end.)
Overall, I found Goddess of Spring to be an enjoyable read, perfect for a small escape or a summer day at the beach. The prose while not being complicated was not mind-numbingly simple either. The heroine, while occasionally suffering from moments of ‘I must do something illogical to keep the plot moving’ is actually likeable. And the inclusion of other mythological characters helped to flesh out the story of Lina and Hades to help keep things more interesting, although I did find the pairing of Eurydice and the daimon to be a bit forced, almost like Cast couldn’t bear for them to be left alone. Or maybe it was intended to help hide the inadvertent homoerotic subtext between Hades and his right hand man early on.
My complaints are few and minor. Firstly, I found it odd that an Italian cookbook should summon the Greek Goddess of the Harvest when the Roman names could have been used just as easily. My second complaint is the referral to Hades as Batman like as if it’s a massive turn-on for anyone reading the book and they would easily understand her attraction to him. Batman does nothing for me.
Finally, for some added entertainment, try reading the book while picturing the Disney character as Hades. It lends to some amazing laughs.