Mariana Cotromanes

Writer, Blogger, Crunchy Mom

Posts

  
Sharing insights and info on writing, parenting, books, 
and health.
view:  full / summary

Finally, a Book Review! THE LOOK OF LOVE

Posted on April 9, 2015 at 9:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Hello, my fellow readers!

 

What a crazy six months it’s been! We spent November packing and getting over the stomach flu, we moved in early December, and then I put on my party planner hat: we had two Christmas dinners, Alec’s big-fat-Greek baptism, then his first birthday. We made it through these chaotic and beautiful moments, and now I’m back to reading and reviewing. (I missed it here!)

 

Back in November when I was sick and in bed, my husband handed me a package. I was thrilled to see it was an Amazon box, and I knew immediately what was inside. I’d been waiting for it eagerly…

 

The Look of Love by Sarah Jio (from publisher’s website): “Born during a Christmas blizzard, Jane Williams receives a rare gift: the ability to see true love. Jane has emerged from an ailing childhood a lonely, hopeless romantic when, on her twenty-ninth birthday, a mysterious greeting card arrives, specifying that Jane must identify the six types of love before the full moon following her thirtieth birthday, or face grave consequences. When Jane falls for a science writer who doesn’t believe in love, she fears that her fate is sealed. Inspired by the classic song, The Look of Love is utterly enchanting.”

 

I read this book in a day! Despite my fever, despite dehydration, I had to keep reading. That’s how much I cared about these characters, which I believe speaks to how carefully the author sketched them. And when a book is this “unputdownable,” it means the author crafted the suspense well—Sarah Jio always does, quite honestly.

 

What really hooked me are the unique aspects of the story—the touch of magic, and the characters with stories that are raw and true to life. This book reminds us that love has many different forms, and it isn’t always easy. It reminds us that while many love stories end happily, some do not—all the more reason to appreciate love, and embrace it when we find it, or keep searching for it. 

 

I give this novel my highest recommendation. It moved me to tears, and I can only say that about a handful of books. Enjoy!

 

Book Review: Hand of Fire

Posted on October 3, 2014 at 8:25 AM Comments comments (0)

 

Hand of Fire by Judith Starkston is an impressive work of historical fiction and I didn’t want it to end. It is written elegantly, and the pacing is just right— the reader is immersed in this mythical world through Starkston’s detail, but the plot keeps moving.

 

 

Hand of Fire is the story of Briesis, a healing priestess from the late Bronze Age mentioned in only a handful of lines in Homer’s the Iliad. There is an intriguing mystery surrounding this woman. According to the legend, she was held captive by Achilles and the Greek Army during the Trojan War. Achilles killed her brothers in the sacking of her village, they apparently fell in love, and she triggered a rift between him and king Agamemnon. This story is told from her perspective.

 

The author’s research makes this book shine. She paints a vivid picture of the late Bronze Age, with regard to the daily lives of servants and kings, as well as the magnificence surrounding the half-god Achilles (and other gods, like his mother Thetis) and the terror of ancient battle

 

The novel is unputdownable and I highly recommend it.

 

(I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.)

 

Book Review: Desperately Ever After

Posted on July 29, 2014 at 8:05 AM Comments comments (1)

Desperately Ever After by Laura Kenyon is a fun, smart read with great imagination and razor sharp wit. This work of women’s fiction fantasy focuses on the princesses from Grimm’s tales.

“Imagine what might happen if our most beloved fairy tale princesses were the best of friends and had the dreams, dilemmas, and libidos of the modern woman. How would their stories unfold after the wedding bells stopped ringing?...

Years after turning her husband from beast back to man and becoming his queen, Belle finds out she's finally going to have a child. But before she can announce the wondrous news, she catches him cheating and watches her "happily ever after" go up in flames. Turning to her friends for the strength to land with grace, she realizes she's not the only one at a crossroads:

Cinderella, a mother of four drowning in royal duties, is facing her 30th birthday and questioning everything she's done (or hasn't) with her life.

Rapunzel, a sex-crazed socialite and one-woman powerhouse, is on a self-destructive quest to make up for 20 years locked away in a tower.

Penelopea, an outsider with a mother-in-law from hell, is harboring a secret that could ruin everything at any moment.” (from publisher’s website)

 

 

 

I love how the author transfers the princesses from Grimm’s days to modern life, injecting their stories with humor and adding quirks to their personalities. I especially enjoyed reading their backstories that included fun facts (like how Cinderella hated her glass slippers because they were so uncomfortable), and secrets from the past coming to light (especially with Rapunzel’s mysterious past)—with exciting twists and interesting details added by the author’s creative hand.

 

Cinderella’s storyline was probably my favorite because I could really relate to her as a mom. But the princess with which I’m most intrigued is Dawn (a.k.a. Sleeping Beauty). She’s married to a prince she doesn’t seem too much in love with anymore, and is trying to acclimate to modern life (which is a struggle considering she was asleep for three-hundred-years). I’m excited to hear that book 2 in the series will be a bit more focused on her and Snow White.

 

This book is smart, funny, and so well done that it’s no surprise it was an Amazon top seller in its category. This is great storytelling—the type that every reader wants to sink their teeth into— and I give it my highest recommendation.

 

(And I can’t wait to read book 2—Laura tweeted me that it’ll be out August 20th!)

 

Book Review: Goodnight June

Posted on July 14, 2014 at 8:05 AM Comments comments (0)

 

Sarah Jio’s Goodnight June is a literary treat for bookworms: the majority of the novel takes place in a bookstore, and the central mystery involves the talented (and endearingly quirky) Margaret Wise Brown, author of beloved children’s book Goodnight Moon.

 

From the publisher’s website: June Andersen is professionally successful, but her personal life is marred by unhappiness. Unexpectedly, she is called to settle her great-aunt Ruby’s estate and determine the fate of Bluebird Books, the children’s bookstore Ruby founded in the 1940s. Amidst the store’s papers, June stumbles upon letters between her great-aunt and the late Margaret Wise Brown—and steps into the pages of American literature. 

 

 

 

Margaret Wise Brown’s character was written so well, I could hear her vibrant voice in my mind as I read the pages. And the mystery surrounding Brown and June’s aunt, as well as witnessing June struggle on her journey toward a fuller life, kept me turning the pages.

 

As with Jio’s other novels, I did not want to put this one down. Jio’s The Violets of March and Blackberry Winter are my favorites, and this one definitely makes that list.

 

With suspense and lots of heart, Goodnight June is a must-read.

 

(I received an e-book copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review)

 

 

 

 

Book Review: The Glass Kitchen

Posted on July 7, 2014 at 8:00 AM Comments comments (0)

The Glass Kitchen by Linda Francis Lee is a work of contemporary women’s fiction with a touch of magical realism. From the first page I was drawn into the life of Portia Cuthcart and her magical food. I read this book as quickly as I could (with a 4-month-old and a potty training toddler!), not wanting to put it down to go to sleep (even when sleep is a rare treasure in my life right now).

 

 

 

“Portia Cuthcart never intended to leave Texas. Her dream was to run the Glass Kitchen restaurant her grandmother built decades ago. But after a string of betrayals and the loss of her legacy, Portia is determined to start a new life with her sisters in Manhattan… and never cook again. But when she moves into a dilapidated brownstone on the Upper West Side, she meets twelve-year-old Ariel and her widowed father Gabriel, a man with his hands full trying to raise two daughters on his own. Soon, a promise made to her sisters forces Portia back into a world of magical food and swirling emotions, where she must confront everything she has been running from. What seems so simple on the surface is anything but when long-held secrets are revealed, rivalries exposed, and the promise of new love stirs to life like chocolate mixing with cream.” (from the publisher’s website)

Portia is a layered and life-like character—I sympathized with her struggles, understood her flaws, and wanted to give her a good “talking to” when she wasn’t doing what I thought she should. The supporting characters (especially Gabriel, Portia’s love interest) are also sketched well, coming to life across the page with their quirks.

Also, I enjoyed reading the perspective of (the adorable, and too smart for her own good) Ariel Kane, Gabriel’s twelve-year-old daughter, who played a larger role in the novel than I’d anticipated. Her narrative (which alternated with that of Portia’s for the majority of the book) was a valuable addition to the story, as it brought in a captivating story line and helped the reader realize new dimensions of the characters.

The plot clips at a pace that will reel you in, the food magic is a fun twist, and the tension among the characters is palpable. I highly recommend The Glass Kitchen. It is the perfect summer read to lounge with next to the pool.

(I received an e-book copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crunchy Mom Goes Oily

Posted on May 7, 2014 at 9:45 AM Comments comments (0)

As a mom for the second time, I’m making new discoveries concerning all things infant again. One thing I wish I’d known about years ago, that I’ve just discovered through a friend of mine, is the use of essential oils. 

 

In the past I’d heard about it in the context of aromatherapy with essential oils during childbirth, but I never looked into it. What finally caught my attention was hearing about the health benefits, and the healing properties. Shortly after Alec was born (February 22nd) I purchased a beginner’s kit of organic essential oils thinking that if they didn’t cure my ailments at least I could diffuse the scents and my house could smell like something other than labradoodle. 

 

Last week the time came to put these oils to use. I nicked Alec’s finger while clipping his nails. It was horrible. He cried hysterically and there was a surprising amount of blood considering it was a small cut. I wasn’t sure what I had in my medicine cabinet, and I wasn’t sure that whatever I had would be safe for a newborn (this had never happened with Elizabeth, so I was in the dark on this one). I quickly messaged the friend who introduced me to the oils and asked which essential oil to use. Lavender and frankincense, she said.

 

Thirty seconds later I dabbed on a little of both. Ten seconds later Alec stopped crying… And was smiling and giggling! I was relieved that they worked, and knew it could not be a coincidence.

 

This Monday there was another opportunity to see what these oils could do. I woke up and nursed Alec right away, as usual, but there was a problem—major pain and I was extremely tired. I’d had similar symptoms twice when Elizabeth was an infant so I knew what it was: mastitis. I decided to nurse often on that side, put a warm compress on it, and dab a couple drops of lavender on the painful area right away. 

 

When I previously had mastitis I took antibiotics for it, but this time I wanted to give the lavender a shot.

 

By the afternoon red streaks appeared and the pain had only lessened slightly. I still didn’t have a fever, but I thought it was only a matter of time. I thought I’d be putting a call into the doctor later that day, for sure. 

 

To my pleasant surprise, by the evening the pain was significantly decreased. By Tuesday morning the streaks were still there, but I didn’t feel as drained, I still didn’t have a fever, and the pain was only noticeable with a heavy touch.

 

It’s Tuesday evening now and the red streaks are gone, the pain barely there. I believe the lavender not only healed the symptoms I had, but prevented worse symptoms from occurring.

 

Just based on my experience, I’m convinced that essential oils work. Of course there are studies like this and this that help support claims of their healing properties, but my experiences are enough to prove it for me (and those of my fellow “oily mamas!”

 

Book Review: The Word Exchange

Posted on April 25, 2014 at 8:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Alena Graedon’s The Word Exchange is a fantastic work of literary speculative fiction. I found Graedon’s prose elegant, the characters’ voices authentic and accessible, and her descriptions successful in creating a conceivable “future world” in which the death sentences for the written word and spoken language have nearly been read.

 

The novel takes place “in the not-so-distance future;” one in which handheld devices called Memes handle human communication (they send text messages to the Meme owner to “stop talking” when it senses a tense conversation, and even hail taxi cabs just as the Meme owner thinks to do so). The latest Meme addition is the Word Exchange, which encourages individuals to look up the meaning of words and even add their own.

 

In journal format, in alternating chapters, we are given the perspectives of Anana Johnson, who works with her father Doug at the North American Dictionary of the English Language, and her colleague Bart.

 

Somehow Doug senses that the Memes and other new technology he is so much against would one day become a threat to him, so when he goes missing Anana must piece together the clues Doug left behind to find him.

 

“Anana’s search for Doug will take her into dark basements and subterranean passageways; the stacks and reading rooms of the Mercantile Library; and secret meetings of the underground resistance, the Diachronic Society. As Anana penetrates the mystery of her father’s disappearance and a pandemic of decaying language called “word flu” spreads, The Word Exchange becomes a cautionary tale that is at once a technological thriller and a meditation on the high cultural costs of digital technology.” (from the publisher)

 

The premise of the novel is sci-fi-esque, yet based enough in reality that it begs readers to ask: could this really happen? If you are a lover of language and the written word you will especially enjoy this book, and it will haunt you after you’ve read the final page.

 

Suspenseful, creative, and well-done, I highly recommend this book.

 

(I received an e-book copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review)

 

 

 

Book Review: Becoming Josephine

Posted on April 7, 2014 at 7:00 AM Comments comments (5)

 

Heather Webb’s Becoming Josephine, published last December, is a captivating read. I was so absorbed by the charming Josephine and her world of tumult and tragedy, power and luxury, that I didn’t want to put the book down and read it during every spare second I had. I started it on a Thursday morning and, despite keeping busy with a 2.5-year-old and a 5-week-old, I finished it two days later.

 

 

 

 

Josephine Bonaparte’s life provides an incredible amount of material with which a writer can work. Webb deftly handles the traumatic, romantic, and beautiful elements of this powerful woman’s life, taking the reader from Josephine’s youth through her years as an Empress. 

 

Webb brings to life the exotic island of Martinique where Josephine grew up, pre-Revolutionary Paris with its conflicting political philosophies boiling over into violent riots, the horrific conditions of the Le Carmes prison where she was jailed, and finally the rise of Josephine to Empress as Napoleon’s wife. The events as told by the author always read authentic, never melodramatic.

 

I highly recommend this novel to my fellow readers—you will certainly devour it as I did… And one lucky reader will win a copy of the book (entry for giveaway in sidebar-- U.S. entries only, no P.O. boxes).  

 THE WINNER HAS BEEN NOTIFIED! Thanks for participating everyone!

(I received an e-book copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review)

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: Letters from Skye

Posted on March 31, 2014 at 6:30 AM Comments comments (0)

 

Letters from Skye, by Jessica Brockmole, made its debut back in July of 2013. I was incredibly excited to receive an advanced reading e-book copy because its book jacket summary contains exactly what I look for in a novel: rich historical context, romance, suspenseful elements, and a bit of a mystery. And it did not disappoint!

 

 

 

 

From the publisher’s website:

 

A sweeping story told in letters, spanning two continents and two world wars…

  

March 1912: Twenty-four-year-old Elspeth Dunn, a published poet, has never seen the world beyond her home on Scotland’s remote Isle of Skye. So she is astonished when her first fan letter arrives, from a college student, David Graham, in far-away America. As the two strike up a correspondence—sharing their favorite books, wildest hopes, and deepest secrets—their exchanges blossom into friendship, and eventually into love. But as World War I engulfs Europe and David volunteers as an ambulance driver on the Western front, Elspeth can only wait for him on Skye, hoping he’ll survive.

 

 June 1940: At the start of World War II, Elspeth’s daughter, Margaret, has fallen for a pilot in the Royal Air Force. Her mother warns her against seeking love in wartime, an admonition Margaret doesn’t understand. Then, after a bomb rocks Elspeth’s house, and letters that were hidden in a wall come raining down, Elspeth disappears. Only a single letter remains as a clue to Elspeth’s whereabouts. As Margaret sets out to discover where her mother has gone, she must also face the truth of what happened to her family long ago.

  

Brockmole is successful at painting the scenes and immersing the reader in them. The characters are clearly sketched and their distinct voices come through in the letters they write. Elspeth and David truly come alive on those pages, and I felt as if I was reading letters between real people, eavesdropping on their thoughts and experiences. 

 

I give this book my highest recommendation; it is a “must-read,” especially for those who enjoy historical fiction.

  

I received an advanced e-book copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

 

Book Review: Paris Letters

Posted on February 3, 2014 at 10:50 PM Comments comments (2)

 

 

Paris Letters by Janice MacLeod is being released today, February 4th. On its surface this memoir is about a woman traveling to a foreign country to find herself. Delving deeper, it conveys the necessity to remain true to ourselves, and never neglect the maintenance our life sometimes requires us to perform.

 

 

 

Janice is thirty-four and finds herself in a job she dislikes, lonely, and not having much luck with dating. She realizes she wants to be an artist and, taking advice she read in a book, begins writing in a journal hoping the answers will come to her. They do.  One day after writing a long rant about her job, she asks, “’How much money does it take to quit your job?’” 

Once she decides on a sum, she saves wherever she can: cutting down on groceries by becoming vegan, collecting and using spare change, and earning extra money by selling her artwork on Etsy. And then she begins eliminating all those small things that weigh heavy on her: she cleans out her closet and underwear drawer, pays off credit cards, organizes her finances, and donates many of her belongings like books and CDs.

 

When she finally arrives in Paris, it isn’t long before she meets—and falls for—Christophe, a butcher who looks like Daniel Craig. As she jump-starts her career as an artist, she must also figure out how this new love can fit into her new life.

 

I enjoyed reading the author’s descriptions of Paris, her struggles and successes with the language barrier, and her honest and endearing telling of the blossoming relationship with the butcher. 

 

Above all, I loved reading a memoir in which the author’s voice is genuine and accessible; it is written by a woman who took charge of her life with both strength and humility when she found it was no longer fulfilling—I admire and respect that, and it was lovely reading how it all unfolded and came together in the end. 

 

Janice is having a photo contest! She will turn the winner’s travel photo into a one-of-a-kind watercolor painting.  The details are below! Good luck :) 

 

 

I received an advanced e-book copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.

 

Book Review: Call Me Zelda

Posted on May 28, 2013 at 2:15 PM Comments comments (0)


There is something about "the Jazz Age" and the "Lost Generation" that captivates me.  I just can't get enough of the era-- the people who lived during it, the literature they produced, and the fascinating lives they led.  And I'm grateful that well-written books like "Z," "The Paris Wife," "Hemingway's Girl," and "Call Me Zelda" are there to feed my addiction. 


Erika Robuck's third novel, CALL ME ZELDA, tells the story of the fictional relationship between Zelda Fitzgerald and her nurse Anna in the 1930s.  It features the story of Zelda "after the party;" a time when she was mentally unstable, having developed what is believed to be schizophrenia, and at the height of practicing her artistic craft (she wrote a novel, "Save Me the Waltz," and short stories, and painted often).





Just like Zelda has suffered, so has Anna (having lost her husband and daughter to elements of the time period).  And together they form a friendship that helps them both heal, but in different ways-- for Anna it is moving forward from her grief, while for Zelda it is a respite from the turmoil in her life.



While I enjoyed learning more about Zelda's life, it was Anna's story that brought the novel together.  Great historical fiction takes you back in time, creating deep context-- and that's exactly what Erika did by creating Anna.  I especially enjoyed the inclusion of Anna's brother, Peter, and learning about his experience entering into the priesthood and even meeting Padre Pio



Above all, it is a touching novel that immerses the reader in the fascinating lives of the Fitzgerald's, and finds beauty and hope in a world that sometimes seems to lack both.  I highly recommend CALL ME ZELDA-- I found it so moving that it left me speechless. 



You need Adobe Flash Player to view this content.

(check out the book trailer!)


Book Review: The Clover House

Posted on May 9, 2013 at 2:15 PM Comments comments (0)


The Clover House by Henriette Lazaridis Power is a novel thick with heritage, history, and complicated relationships.  The story alternates between Calliope (Callie) Notaris Brown-- in her thirties in the present-- and her mother Clio-- in her teenage years in 1940's Greece.





After Callie's beloved Uncle Nestor-- her mother's brother, the unofficial family historian-- dies and leaves her with his house and belongings, she leaves for Patras (Clio's hometown) to sort through everything. 

As the plot unfolds we learn more about the Notaris family struggles during WWII, the relationships among the family members in the past and present, and the secrets and resentments harbored for many years.  The novel also delves into Callie's apprehensions with her recent engagement-- a "commitment-phobia" originating from witnessing her parents' unhappy marriage-- as well as her rocky relationship with her mother. 



(The author is first-generation Greek-American)

At its core the book is about not allowing your past to dominate your future--reconciling the two to form your cohesive self.  And it is partly about finding a balance between nationality and ethnicity in your identity (as a second-generation Greek-American woman, that is something I really appreciate).

The Clover House paints the Grecian landscape for the reader, offering an honest portrayal of relationships, a realistic rendition of war, revolution, loss, and a very unique history and culture.  This is a valuable, thought-provoking read that I highly recommend.

(pictures are borrowed from author's website and publisher's website)


Book Review: Someday, Someday Maybe

Posted on April 23, 2013 at 1:00 PM Comments comments (1)


Being released today, SOMEDAY, SOMEDAY MAYBE by Lauren Graham (beloved actress from "Gilmore Girls" and "Parenthood") is a witty and revealing read, and an enjoyable work of contemporary fiction.


The story takes place in the mid-1990s and focuses on Franny Banks, who has only six months left in her self-imposed three-year deadline to land the job that will truly make her an actress.  This novel drew me in immediately because Franny's voice is so honest and engaging; she has a self-deprecating sense of humor that is charming, giving her the appeal of a good friend.  She is certainly a character you care for, and cheer for, as she stumbles and tries to overcome obstacles.






It was also interesting to learn the modern-day struggles of an up-and-coming actress (the "behind-the-scenes" story)-- and the fact that it was written by a successful actress makes the story authentic, and all the more engrossing. (A few times I wondered: is that really how it works? And: I wonder if that happened to Lauren Graham?...).


With solid writing, lots of heart and wit, SOMEDAY, SOMEDAY MAYBE does not disappoint.  I highly recommend this book (especially for fans Lauren Graham!).


I received an advanced e-book copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.



Five Books You'll Devour

Posted on April 4, 2013 at 3:20 PM Comments comments (1)


Recently I've noticed an upswing in Facebook statuses among my friends asking for book recommendations, and luckily over the last few months I've read some amazing novels (and aren't their covers great too?!) Here are five of my favorites I highly recommend:






Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio

I loved Jio's first and second novels (The Violets of March-- which I'm currently re-reading for book club!-- and The Bungalow), so I was not surprised I enjoyed her third.  This novel tells the story of two women in Seattle, Vera Ray in 1933 whose three-year-old son suddenly goes missing, and Claire Aldridge in 2010 who attempts to resolve this decades long mystery while dealing with her own struggles.  It is a beautiful, suspenseful, story with a strong maternal theme and sympathetic characters. (Note: Sarah's fourth book, The Last Camellia, comes out May 28th)








Hemingway's Girl by Erika Robuck

I anticipated the release of this novel for several months and when it arrived I devoured it.  The story focuses on Mariella Bennet who is still getting over her father's sudden death as she attempts to support her mother and two sisters.  When she is hired as a maid by Pauline, Ernest Hemingway's second wife, it provides her with steady income while also opening the door to developing a relationship with the capricious and magnetic writer.  The twists and turns in this novel-- both heartwrenching and heartwarming-- will certainly surprise you.  Robuck immerses the reader in the world of Depression-era Key West with lovely descriptions, and characters you can really love and cheer for. (Note: Erika's second novel, Call me Zelda, comes out May 7th)








The Stockholm Octavo by Karen Engelmann

Set in Stockholm, 1791, this impressive work of historical fiction focuses on Emil Larsson, a bureaucrat in the customs office who enjoys drinking, card playing and his bachelorhood.  One night everything changes when Mrs. Sparrow-- a fortune-teller and owner of the game parlor he frequents-- has a vision of Emil's life.  She then lays out his "Octavo" (eight cards representing the eight people significant to the fulfillment of her vision of "a golden path that will lead him to love and connection").  The exciting story then unfolds as we meet quirky characters, learn of the magic of fans and of cards, and enter into political intrigue featuring real historical figures.  Engelmann's novel is magical and successfully brings a turbulent political climate to life. 






Learning to Stay by Erin Celello

Not only is this a moving story, but with so many soldiers returning home, it is  relevant and eye-opening.  When Elise's husband Brad returns home from Iraq she is beyond relieved.  But when she realizes his traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder has turned him into a different person she isn't sure what to do.  Celello writes a powerful, engrossing story told by a character who was created with great precision-- I found myself caring about what happened to Elise from the very first page and my attention was so captured that I finished the novel within twenty-four hours.







Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

Creative, humorous, heartwarming, and frustrating; with its varying characteristics, this novel elicits a smorgasbord of emotion to the very last page.  Instead of being broken up into traditional chapters, the novel is a compilation of documents that Bernadette's daughter, Bee, collected upon her mother's disappearance (consisting of emails, letters, text messages, etc.).  These characters are so true-to-life-- the overbearing moms from Bee's school, the workaholic husband, intelligent Bee, and quirky Bernadette-- that you will love and dislike them (and then probably change your mind) as if they actually exist in your world.  It is a warm, witty, and cleverly written story of a mother-daughter relationship, and it's no surprise that it is on the Women's Prize for Fiction 2013 longlist.


I hope you enjoy these as much as I have! Happy reading!


(Images of book covers are courtesty of publishers' websites)



Book Review: From the Kitchen of Half Truth

Posted on March 25, 2013 at 3:05 PM Comments comments (0)


In From the Kitchen of Half Truth by Maria Goodin (to be released April 1st), Meg May struggles to remember aspects of her early childhood.  Her memories are muddled further by outlandish stories her mother has told her: that she was so sweet she would dip Meg’s toes in coffee; and that she once ate so many apples she started spitting seeds. 

 


As an adult Meg is dedicated to rooting her life in reality, while her well-meaning and imaginative mother continues believing and re-telling these stories.

 

When Meg stays with her mother as her terminal illness progressively worsens, she is determined to investigate her past and finally put the stories to rest, separating truth from fiction once and for all.


 





In this magical and heartfelt tale, author Maria Goodin captures the essence of the mother-daughter relationship.  Goodin skillfully portrays Meg’s attempts to balance giving comfort and love to her mother—her best friend— as her health takes a downturn, with the mission of finding the truth about her past—which could be painful for both of them.  The reader witnesses the bittersweetness of love and loyalty that will surely move them to tears.

 

This book will be released on April 1st; I was given an advanced e-book copy from Sourcebooks through NetGalley.


 


Rss_feed

Follow Me on Pinterest


Mariana Cotromanes's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (currently-reading shelf)

Subscribe To The Site