Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Memory of Water by Karen White

The word that best suits this novel to me, is INTENSE! The story centers around two sisters who grew up with a mom that suffered from a Bipolar disorder. As grown women, you discover how they individually dealt with their pain and past.

Last Sunday, our pastor said that unless we deal with our pain, we will substitute it with something else, something to mask it and it will only fester on the inside, but it will never just go away. I found his message to be so applicable to this story, because no matter how far you think you can run from your pain, its still deep inside you until you face it. There was so much turmoil in this book, each character was struggling with their own fears in the midst of a clinical disorder in the family.

It wasn't a light fluffy read by any means, as a matter of fact, it took me a while, because after every chapter I had to put it down and take a deep breath. It's dark, its real and its very intense. I do believe that clinically a person can be diagnosed with a melatonin imbalance that can mess with the way a person processes, feels and thinks. I can't even imagine back in the day how they explained one's behaviour without just concluding that the individual must be crazy. As with this story, generations of a family have believed that there was a curse passed down that caused these women to do horrible things to their families and to themselves. Today we are fortunate enough to have much more information on how the brain works and how to treat this particular illness.

Here's a quote that really caught my attention:
"I think I'm beginning to understand that running away from fear doesn't make it go away. It's still there, waiting around the corner, and I figure one day I'm going to catch up to it and finally face it."

I wouldn't say I enjoyed this book, but yet I was completely captivated. I wanted to see how these sisters dealt with their fears, healed the wounds between them and processed the hurts their family had been through. I would recommend it to those who are wanting way more than just a light read.

Description: On the night their mother drowns, sisters Marnie and Diana Maitland discover there is more than one kind of death. There is the death of innocence, of love, and of hope. Each sister harbors a secret about that night-secrets that will erode their lives as they grow into adulthood.

After ten years of silence between the sisters, Marnie is called back to the South Carolina Lowcountry by Diana's ex-husband, Quinn. His young son has returned from a sailing trip with his emotionally unstable mother, and he is refusing to speak. In order to help the traumatized boy, Marnie must reopen old wounds and bring the darkest memories of their past to the surface. And she must confront Diana, before they all go under

For more reviews, click on the links below:

(If you have a review of The Memory of Water you'd like me to add, just leave me a comment!)

Recommend: I would recommend it, because I think its good for everyone once in a while to see the real and raw side of pain so we can have a greater compassion for others.

Rating: ****

Friday, October 17, 2008

Scary book giveaway!!

Hachette Book Group has been dishing out boxes of 10 books each to various book bloggers for giveaways! If your interested in trying to win the 10 books listed below, go to Dewey's website to enter!!
1. Follow the yellow brick road!

2. Books is something I always take with me on vacation.

3. To achieve your goals, you must never give up!

4. Being addicted to sweets is something I'd like you to know about me.

5. I have a wonderful husband that I adore.

6. Hope floats.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to reading my book, tomorrow my plans include sleeping in with my man, working on the fence and getting coffee at Ugly Mugs and Sunday, I want to work on my quilt!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

This doesn't mean I'm going to buy myself a lottery ticket.

After entering a bazillion book giveaways over the last several months, I'm excited to say I've finally won one!!

My Friend Amy was hosting a giveaway of Wild Goose Chase by Mark Batterson back during BBAW and now my hope has been renewed that lady luck may not have completely shunned me.
I received an email on Wednesday from Amy saying that sure enough, I had won!!!

Other fun news, GreenApple Publicity offered me a free online copy of Jumble Pie by Melanie Lynn Hauser. If you are interested in reading this book, you can receive your own PDF copy by clicking here and signing up! It's easy, free and I've read some great reviews, so why wouldn't you try it??! As soon I get a chance to read my copy, I'll be posting a review as well.

Since the fall has begun, I'm finding it more difficult to squeeze in a few pages here and there. I went camping this last weekend with some friends and thought for sure I'd have time to curl up with The Memory of Water by Karen White in my lawn chair with a cup of coffee next to the campfire. But oh no! I was way too much of a chatterbox hanging out with my friends than to be found reading.

I'm also struggling to figure out how to balance the evenings between reading and indulging in my favorite fall shows!! Has anyone figured out how to do this?! I'm a huge fan of Dancing With The Stars (go Brooke Burke!), Greys Anatomy, Private Practice and Samantha Who?

What are your favorite fall shows that your keeping up with?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Sweet Love by Sarah Strohmeyer

How could you not want to pick up a book with a picture of a cupcake on the front? Good thing they didn't make it scratch and sniff, I might have licked the cover!

Sweet Love overall was a cute story and if you have a sweet tooth like I do, then you'll really enjoy reading about the dessert classes that Julie takes after much persuasion by her mother. I also really enjoyed the depth of relationship conveyed between Julie, her teenage daughter and her mom.

But I got say, I was doing great up until the very end when I realized there was some loose ends that were never fully wrapped up by the author. I was left with the impression that maybe the author tried to cram in too much into the story. After I finished the last chapter, I kept turning the last pages wondering if somehow I missed something. For instance, without giving too much away, I wanted to know more about Julie's parents relationship, what was up with her dad and why he was behaving the way he was? Why did Julie's mother put up with it? Or how about Carole, I mean what the heck was that? We never fully get an explanation on that whole thing either...grrr a bit aggravating. But maybe it was just me and I totally missed it. But I'm a closure kind of girl, you know what I'm saying? I'll stop right there, because I really do try to keep my reviews short, so as not to give too much away.

But if you're interested in reading what others had to say, check out these other links below:

Booking Mama
Love To Read
S. Krishna's Books

Description: From a rising star in women's fiction, Sweet Love is an irresistibly delicious novel about the power of love, dessert, and the unbreakable bond between mothers and daughters.

Julie Mueller, once a brilliant local television reporter, has been fired for the sin of being forty. Broke, divorced, unemployed, and struggling to raise a teenage daughter alone, she had given up on happiness until she receives for Mother's Day four dessert classes that spark not only a new burst of culinary creativity but a burning passion for one of her fellow students, Michael Slayton, a true love she let slip away.

Before Julie can win back her soul mate, however, she must make amends to those she's unwittingly hurt in her past and stare down a crisis every woman must face. Armed with the love of her mother, her daughter, her own determination, and lots and lots of chocolate, Julie takes to heart Shakespeare's plea: "Sweet love, renew thy force; be it not said thy edge should blunter be than appetite."

Bestselling author Meg Cabot has said that "opening a book by Sarah Strohmeyer is like opening a box of chocolates - sweet, a little nutty, and absolutely irresistible." With this new novel, Sarah Strohmeyer - author of The Cinderella Pact and The Sleeping Beauty Proposal - proves those words especially apt and delivers a story as rich and satisfying as a chocolate layer cake.

Rating: ***1/2

Recommend: Most reviews I've read are nothing but positive and I think a lot of readers who enjoy chick-lit and women's fiction would enjoy it.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Sundays at Tiffany's by James Patterson

Phew! I gobbled this one up! I started it last night after finishing The Wednesday Sisters and read 3/4 of it before bed. I was really looking forward to reading Sundays at Tiffany's because I so much enjoyed Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas. But at the same time, the reviews I had read before weren't exactly glowing, so I was trying not to get my hopes up too much either.

And you know what, I loved it. I loved the little bit of mystery and magic involved. I loved the child-like innocence of the story and the purity of their relationship for each other. I thought it was beautiful and so sweet and all along I thought I knew exactly what was coming at the end, but I was wrong. The book really reminded me of the movie City of Angels, which I also loved.

As for the characters themselves, I loved the main girl Jane. She was so sassy and yet so sweet. When the authors wrote sarcastic little comments by the characters, I loved it and caught each one. I just felt like I could envision their chemistry and personalities so clearly. For me it was a home run and I only wish that James Patterson would write more of these stories more often!!

Description: As a little girl, Jane has no one. Her mother, the powerful head of a Broadway theater company, has no time for her. She does have one friend-a handsome, comforting, funny man named Michael-but only she can see him.

Years later, Jane is in her thirties and just as alone as ever. Then she meets Michael again-as handsome, smart and perfect as she remembers him to be. But not even Michael knows the reason they've really been reunited.

SUNDAYS AT TIFFANY'S is a love story with an irresistible twist, a novel about the child inside all of us-and the boundary-crossing power of love.

For other reviews on Sundays at Tiffany's, check out these blogs below:

Rating: *****

Recommend: Absolutely for all those romantic saps out there like me!

The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton

Tons of positive reviews of The Wednesday Sisters have been circling the net for a while now. I'm probably one of the last people to actually sit down and read it.

And though I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, I don't think it had quite as much affect on me as it could have if I had not just recently finished The Knitting Circle. Thankfully there were some unexpected twists and turns that continued to keep me completely engaged. And don't get me wrong, I ADORE women's fiction, because I love studying human relationships, but I felt that these two stories in particular very much paralleled each other regarding the issues involving women and their friendships.
I still recommend it as a great read, I would just make sure to space this one out with the other friendship books out there that seem to be flooding the market.

Description: Friendship, loyalty, and love lie at the heart of Meg Waite Clayton’s beautifully written, poignant, and sweeping novel of five women who, over the course of four decades, come to redefine what it means to be family.

For thirty-five years, Frankie, Linda, Kath, Brett, and Ally have met every Wednesday at the park near their homes in Palo Alto, California. Defined when they first meet by what their husbands do, the young homemakers and mothers are far removed from the Summer of Love that has enveloped most of the Bay Area in 1967. These “Wednesday Sisters” seem to have little in common: Frankie is a timid transplant from Chicago, brutally blunt Linda is a remarkable athlete, Kath is a Kentucky debutante, quiet Ally has a secret, and quirky, ultra-intelligent Brett wears little white gloves with her miniskirts. But they are bonded by a shared love of both literature–Fitzgerald, Eliot, Austen, du Maurier, Plath, and Dickens–and the Miss America Pageant, which they watch together every year.

As the years roll on and their children grow, the quintet forms a writers circle to express their hopes and dreams through poems, stories, and, eventually, books. Along the way, they experience history in the making: Vietnam, the race for the moon, and a women’s movement that challenges everything they have ever thought about themselves, while at the same time supporting one another through changes in their personal lives brought on by infidelity, longing, illness, failure, and success.

Humorous and moving, The Wednesday Sisters is a literary feast for book lovers that earns a place among those popular works that honor the joyful, mysterious, unbreakable bonds between friends.

Here are other reviews I came across (if you have one that I haven't listed, let me know and I'll update the list!):

The Read Feed
The Written Word
Leafing Through Life
Rhonda's Corner of the World
Breaking the Spine

Rating: ***1/2

Recommend: It really was a great read!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Another Giveaway!

Stephanie over the Written Word is giving away a signed copy of "Keeping The House" by Ellen Baker and you too can enter to win by clicking here.

Not that you should, because that would mean it would decrease my chances at winning and this book looks pretty darn cute, don't ya think?

Yea, maybe you shouldn't enter - you wouldn't want to ruin someone else's chances. ;-)

Just kidding!!