Review: Love and Biology...

Jennie Shortridge sent me copies of Love and Biology… and Eating Heaven to preview for the MMBC June selection. We are reading Eating Heaven for June but do to a shipping mix up everyone is receiving both books! I have received many emails expressing their delight with Love and Biology…I needed to see what the excitement was about so I start reading this book today, sitting on the deck and enjoying the beautiful day. I read this book in one afternoon from cover to cover!

Most women will relate to this story. As the book opens you feel a connection to Mira. I have read two of Jennie Shortridge’s novels, I love her storytelling and character development.

This book is well written, dancing around topics with emotion. For those of you that have read my reviews you know I like a book filled with ‘messiness’. This book is about a 45 year old woman who makes a hasty decision and runs away from life. Instead of dealing with life’s obstacles she packs a suitcase and begins driving to Vancouver. Her car breaks down in Seattle where she end up staying and builds a new “family”.

Mira is a strong accomplished woman, at no time in the book do you feel sorry for her.

MMBC readers, I have a few questions for you:

Part One: how do you think you would react to hearing Parker’s story? Would you run like Mira has decided to do?

Part Two: Mira leaves her family behind and creates a new family of sorts… do you think she is satisfied? What is her role in her new surroundings?

Part Three: Did the book end how you thought it would?
Click here to read an author Q&A
Type: Fiction, 367 pages, Trade paperback

"An accomplished and superior novelist" (Statesman Journal) delivers a bittersweet book about a woman's midlife crisis that asks: How does a good girl know when to finally let herself be bad?When she learns that her college sweetheart husband has been seeing another woman, Mira Serafino's perfect world is shattered and she wants no one, least of all her big Italian family, to know. She heads north-with no destination and little money- stopping only when her car breaks down in Seattle. She takes a job at the offbeat Coffee Shop at the Center of the Universe, where she'll experience a terrifying but invigorating freedom, and meet someone she'll come to love: the new Mira.

“A moving look at the…redemptive power of… getting it right.” – Carolyn Jourdan, author of Heart in the Right Place
BN Review: Jennie Shortridge has written a book for every woman. There is something for everyone in this story about a woman longing to learn who she really is. Mira heads out of her hometown after finding out her husband was about to be unfaithful. As she starts a new and different life, she realizes that she is not who she wants to be. The characters in this book are diverse, funny, and oh so interesting. You will laugh, commiserate, and cry throughout this story. Don't miss it!


  1. I both loved and hated this book! The writing was really good. So good in fact, that I hated reading it. I related on a personal level and the emotions that Mira was feeling were so spot on. It was hard for me to *relive* that time in my life.
    I really feel that she just wanted Parker to come and get her. May be my feelings stemmed from my own experience. She was lucky in that he came.

    So on to the questions:
    1. I would definitely run. I did.
    2. I don't necessarily think she felt satisfied as in *ah, this is better*. I think she created a less painful life for herself, since thinking about her real life was too painful. Her role in her new surroundings was essentially the same role that she had left behind: mothering, teaching, being busy, without the baggage of what family brings.
    3. Yes. Only because that is what books do. I was mad that Mira went back and then realized that I was jealous that the love of her life came to get her and mine didn't. :-P

    All in all, this was an excellent book! I really felt drawn in and relived a lot of emotions that I try hard not to feel. Superb writing!!!


  2. I really liked this book and am definitely looking forward to reading Eating Heaven after reading this book.

    The questions:
    1. I don't know if I would run, but I would probably have left him. I was SO frustrated with how she let her family and friends keep trying to make her feel like she was the one who did something wrong by leaving and telling her how miserable Parker was. He was the one that was involved with someone else. The fact that they hadn't slept didn't really make it that much better. He turned to someone else emotionally instead of to his wife. Mira did have her faults by trying to be kind of controlling with her family and her denial of anything that conflicted with her idea of perfect. But Parker never told her about how he was feeling until it was too late. He never gave her a chance to try to change to make things work better.

    2. I don't really think she was satisfied. I think she was making the best of the situation she found herself in. She did create a new family for herself because she's the kind of person who is craves family, so that made sense to me. I agree with Amy that her new role was essentially the same role. But I also think she had learned a little from the mistakes she had made before, too, and that allowed her to be a little less controlling.

    3. The book did end kind of like I thought it would. I was pretty sure they would end up back together and I also thought they wouldn't end up back in their town. I think they both needed a fresh start an that's what they're getting.

  3. I absolutely loved this book! (and the other one, too) Actually, after being an AVID Jodi Picoult fan and breezing through all of her books, I have been looking for a new favorite author and Jennie Shortridge, may just be that author. I will post more later in regards to the answers to your questions, but our Internet is acting a little funny right now!

  4. Lisa H from TNMonday, June 08, 2009

    I love, love, loved this book! I couldn't put it down until I finished reading it.
    Now on to the questions:

    1. I think I would listen to Parker's side of the story before making a decision. Most of the times an indiscretion happens because of lack of communication.

    2. I don't think she could ever be totally satisfied without her real family, but considering her circumstances, I do think she was able to cope without being so lonely. She took on the mother figure, little miss do good busy-body that she was used to in her family.

    3. Yes and no, I knew they would get back together in the end, but I really assumed that she would go back home to her extended family.

  5. I really enjoyed this book and the writing style of Jennie
    Shortridge. I don't think I would have been brave enough to leave my family, friends, home and everything familiar to me. I was a little disappointed in Thea for
    not hearing her mother out. I didn't expect Parker to come to Seattle to see Mira. My impression of him changed when he told Thea that her mother did come back to work things out before she left for Seattle. The book didn't end like I thought it would, but I found the ending very appropriate. Mira and Parker belonged together! I just love happy endings.

    1. Did Parker ever actually have an affair?


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