Review: Have a Little Faith

Have a Little Faith is the first book that showed up in my mailbox without knowledge it was coming. I have read every Albom book and his books hold a special place in my family. My son has read Tuesday’s with Morrie about 50 times! He was reading The Five People You Meet in Heaven on a family vacation which sparked a conversation with Mike Tyson (along with an autograph). I was excited to receive an ARC copy, thank you to the individual who sent this to me.

From the author’s website: Mitch Albom is an internationally renowned and best-selling author, journalist, screenwriter, playwright, radio and television broadcaster and musician. His books have collectively sold over 28 million copies worldwide; have been published in forty-one territories and in forty-two languages around the world; and have been made into Emmy Award-winning and critically-acclaimed television movies.

Tuesdays with Morrie is the chronicle of Mitch’s time spent with his beloved professor. As a labor of love, Mitch wrote the book to help pay Morrie’s medical bills. It spent four years on the New York Times Bestseller list and is now the most successful memoir ever published. His first novel, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, is the most successful US hardcover first adult novel ever. For One More Day, his most recent, debuted at No.1 on the New York Times Bestseller List and spent nine months on the list. In October 2006, For One More Day was the first book chosen by Starbucks in the newly launched Book Break Program, which also helped fight illiteracy by donating one dollar from every book sold to Jumpstart.

Albom profiles two people in this book: a rabbi who he has been asked to write a eulogy for and an inner-city convict turned pastor. The Rabbi and Pastor’s journeys to faith couldn’t be more different yet it’s the one thing that keeps them grounded. The change we see in one of the main characters in the book is something that we rarely see in this world.

I look forward to reading all of his books, Tuesday’s with Morrie might still be my favorite, but I also loved Five People you meet in Heaven. Have a Little Faith is a wonderful story, it reminds us to focus on what is important.

Type: Inspirational, 272 pages, Hardcover

What if our beliefs were not what divided us, but what pulled us together?
In Have a Little Faith, Mitch Albom offers a beautifully written story of a remarkable eight year journey between two worlds – two men, two faiths, two communities – that will inspire readers everywhere.

Albom’s first nonfiction book since Tuesdays with Morrie was published twelve years ago, Have A Little Faith begins with an unusual request: an 82-year-old rabbi from Albom’s old hometown asks him to deliver his eulogy.

Feeling unworthy, Albom insists on understanding the man better, which throws him back into a world of faith he’d left years ago. Meanwhile, closer to his current home, Albom becomes involved with a Detroit pastor – a reformed drug dealer and convict – who preaches to the poor and homeless in a decaying church with a hole in its roof.

Moving between their worlds, Christian and Jewish, African-American and white, impoverished and well-to-do, Mitch observes how these very different men employ faith similarly in fighting for survival: the older, suburban rabbi, embracing it as death approaches; the younger, inner-city pastor relying on it to keep himself and his church afloat.

As America struggles with hard times and people turn more to their beliefs, Mitch and the two men of God explore issues that perplex modern man: how to endure when difficult things happen; what heaven is; intermarriage; forgiveness; doubting God; and the importance of faith in trying times. Although the texts, prayers and histories are different, Albom begins to realize a striking unity between the two worlds - and indeed, between beliefs everywhere.

In the end, as the rabbi nears death and a harsh winter threatens the pastor’s wobbly church, Albom sadly fulfills the last request and writes the eulogy. And he finally understands what both men had been teaching all along: the profound comfort of believing in something bigger than yourself.

Have a Little Faith is a book about a life’s purpose; about losing belief and finding it again; about the divine spark inside us all. It is one man’s journey, but it is everyone’s story.

Review: Her Fearful Symmetry

I haven’t seen any reviews for Audrey Niffenegger’s new novel and am a little surprised (in the blogosphere). If you enjoyed The Time Traveler’s Wife I think you will love this one.

I do suggest you click through to the author’s website first – Highgate Cemetery is a real place and the photographs are amazing. They will provide a visual for the story.

From the author’s website: Audrey Niffenegger was born in 1963 in the idyllic hamlet of South Haven, Michigan. Her family moved to Evanston, Illinois when she was little; she has lived in or near Chicago for most of her life.

She began making prints in 1978 under the tutelage of William Wimmer. Miss Niffenegger trained as a visual artist at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and received her MFA from Northwestern University’s Department of Art Theory and Practice in 1991. She has exhibited her artist’s books, prints, paintings, drawings and comics at Printworks Gallery in Chicago since 1987.

In 1997 Miss Niffenegger had an idea for a book about a time traveler and his wife. She originally imagined making it as a graphic novel, but eventually realized that it is very difficult to represent sudden time shifts with still images. She began to work on the project as a novel, and published The Time Traveler’s Wife in 2003 with the independent publisher MacAdam/Cage. It was an international best seller, and has been made into a movie.

I’m not going to summarize the storyline beyond what is provided below (see synopsis), if I talk about the details I might give something away. Her Fearful Symmetry is elegantly written, the story progresses at a slow detailed pace (I mean this in the best way possible), every word is on the page serves a purpose. The imagery is stunning, spellbinding.

I have mentioned this before, I'm a naïve reader. A writer’s perfect muse - I was eagerly awaited the twists and turns in this book. As I write this review, it’s definitely a top 5 read in 2009.

Please do not rush through this book, I took two weeks to read it – it’s worth taking in, absorbing, enjoying every page!

Click here to read a good author Q&A

Type: Fiction, 416 pages, Hardcover

Synopsis: Six years after the phenomenal success of The Time Traveler's Wife, Audrey Niffenegger has returned with a spectacularly compelling and haunting second novel set in and around Highgate Cemetery in London.

When Elspeth Noblin dies of cancer, she leaves her London apartment to her twin nieces, Julia and Valentina. These two American girls never met their English aunt; they only knew that their mother, too, was a twin, and Elspeth her sister. Julia and Valentina are semi-normal American teenagers -- with seemingly little interest in college, finding jobs, or anything outside their cozy home in the suburbs of Chicago, and with an abnormally intense attachment to one another.

The girls move to Elspeth's flat, which borders Highgate Cemetery. They come to know the building's other residents. There is Martin, a brilliant and charming crossword puzzle setter suffering from crippling obsessive-compulsive disorder; Marjike, Martin's devoted but trapped wife; and Robert, Elspeth's elusive former lover, a scholar of the cemetery. As the girls become embroiled in the fraying lives of their aunt's neighbors, they also discover that much is still alive in Highgate, including -- perhaps -- their aunt, who can't seem to leave her old apartment and life behind.

Niffenegger weaves a captivating story in Her Fearful Symmetry: about love and identity, about secrets and sisterhood, and about the tenacity of life -- even after death.

Review: Earthly Pleasures

I just had to read this book after reading about it on a blog. What a fun idea for a story!

From Author’s website: Karen Neches was single for over twenty years. She used to tell people she was in the “hospice stage” of being single as she never expected to recover. Then at the age of forty-three she finally met her soul mate. Earthly Pleasures is dedicated to him. Neches also writes under the name Karin Gillespie and is the national bestselling author of The Sweet Potato Queen’s First Big-Ass Novel with Jill Conner Browne and three novels in the critically acclaimed Bottom Dollar Girl series. She’s founder of the forty author virtual tour The Girlfriend Circuit as well as the grog for Southern authors, A Good Blog is Hard to Find. She is a former lifestyle columnist for the Augusta Chronicle.
Skye is a hospitality greeter in heaven. She greets new arrivals, explaining all the wonderful things heaven has to offer. After being chosen to go to earth she takes classes to prepare her for her journey. The teachers lesson plan is based her belief that all you need to know on earth is found in the lyrics of Beatles songs.

This book was a pleasure to read, I had such a busy week and enjoyed carrying this with me to the doctors office, the gym, etc… Earthly Pleasures is a reality show, looking from heaven to the lives of the living. It’s on this show that Skye first sees Ryan Blaine. As the story progresses we follow Skye and Ryan’s journey. I loved all the characters and enjoyed trying to figure out the stories ending. If you are looking for a fun, flirty story this one’s for you.

The is an Author Q&A on Karen Neches website worth reading.

Type: Fiction, 320 pages, Trade paperback

Synopsis:When Skye Sebring, a hospitality greeter inside the pearly gates of Heaven, meets lawyer Ryan Blaine during his brush with death after a motorcycle accident, she falls so deeply in love that she follows him back to Earth, a world with strange customs she knows nothing about — until she discovers that all of life's lessons can be learned from the lyrics of five Beatles songs.

Review: Belong to Me

Thank you Bookclub Girl for sending me a copy of Belong to Me. This is my first book in the book challenge I am participating in this fall.

A little bit Marisa de los Santos background: The child of a general surgeon hailing from Cebu City, Philippines and a nurse hailing from Westminster, Maryland, Marisa de los Santos grew up in Baltimore and Northern Virginia. She was a happy if somewhat neurotic kid, and had a little sister, Kristina, whom she both antagonized and adored, usually at the same time.
Enamored of Louisa May Alcott, Helen Keller, Joan of Arc, and Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, Marisa read while skating, turning cartwheels, descending stairs, and/or bathing, sometimes with disastrous results.

Marisa found early success with the publication of her poetry collection, From The Bones Out. However, her son Charles soon arrived. Along with being handsome and brilliant, Charles screamed more than any baby on the planet. Three years later, Charles’s sister Annabel, also lovely and brilliant, also a maniac, made the scene. Their caterwauling, combined with Marisa’s distractingly large love for them, made mustering the concentration necessary for writing poetry difficult, so she produced less and less. That’s her story, anyway. (When in doubt, blame the kids.)

Around this time, Marisa started hearing a voice in her head. While this was initially a little weird, the voice turned out to belong to a fictional character, Cornelia Brown. Cornelia kept talking until Marisa was compelled to write Love Walked In.

Charles and Annabel turned out to be great kids.

This is story of Cornelia, her husband and life in the suburbs. We first met Cornelia in Love Walked In; if you enjoyed this book you will surely enjoy Belong to Me. The novel is told in different voices, women who become important to Cornelia. As you turn the pages you feel like you are listening to a friend share stories with you. You will believe the characters in this book, the daily struggles with friends, looking forward in life, health, children, marriage etc…

The story was beautiful and complicated, and happy and sad. You care about the people in the story, they become your friends for the length of the book, you laugh and cry when they do. At the back of the book, Marisa gives the slightest hint of someday writing Clare and Dev's story.

After you finish reading this book, be sure to click to BookClub Girl’s site and listen to her discussion with the author. I enjoy reading along with Jennifer and then getting to listen to the discussion, the books always have more meaning and I always like a book even more after listening.

Type: Fiction, pages, 388 pages, Trade paperback

Everyone has secrets. Some we keep to protect ourselves, others we keep to protect those we love.

A devoted city dweller, Cornelia Brown surprised no one more than herself when she was gripped by the sudden, inescapable desire to leave urban life behind and head for an idyllic suburb. Though she knows she and her beloved husband, Teo, have made the right move, she approaches her new life with trepidation and struggles to forge friendships in her new home. Cornelia's mettle is quickly tested by judgmental neighbor Piper Truitt. Perfectly manicured, impeccably dressed, and possessing impossible standards, Piper is the embodiment of everything Cornelia feared she would find in suburbia. A saving grace soon appears in the form of Lake. Over a shared love of literature and old movies, Cornelia develops an instant bond with this warm yet elusive woman who has also recently arrived in town, ostensibly to send her perceptive and brilliant son, Dev, to a school for the gifted.

Marisa de los Santos's literary talents shine in the complex interactions she creates between these three women. She deftly explores the life-altering roller coaster of emotions Piper faces as she cares for two households, her own and that of her cancer-stricken best friend, Elizabeth. Skillfully, de los Santos creates an enigmatic and beguiling character in Lake, who draws Cornelia closer even as she harbors a shocking secret. And from the first page until the exhilarating conclusion, de los Santos engages readers with Cornelia, who, while trying to adapt to her new surroundings, must remain true to herself. As their individual stories unfold, the women become entangled in a web of trust, betrayal,love, and loss that challenges them in ways they never imagined, and that ultimately teaches them what it means for one human being to belong to another.

Review: Moon River and Me

Thank you Penguin Group for sending me a copy of Andy Williams new memoir, Moon River and Me.

From the authors website: Williams’ story begins in Wall Lake, Iowa, where he and his siblings were encouraged by their ambitious father to form the singing group The Williams Brothers and bartered public performances for shoes, groceries and even their youngest brother’s funeral (they sang in the funeral parlor every day after school and all day Saturdays to pay off their debt). After moving to Los Angeles, the brothers gained a short-lived national following before Andy set off on a solo career, struggling for years until a regular spot on Steve Allen’s Tonight Show and a string of hit singles established his stardom.

In MOON RIVER AND ME, Williams shares all the highs and lows of this period—including the controversial and highly publicized shooting by his ex-wife Claudine Longet of her lover, skier Spider Sabich, and stories featuring his close friend Bobby Kennedy, Ronald Reagan (who declared him a national treasure), Judy Garland, John Huston, Jack Lemmon, Howard Hughes, John Lennon, Frank Sinatra, Elvis, and countless others. Andy will be 82 when this memoir is published, and he's as energetic and popular as ever. In fact, he still performs throughout the year at his Moon River Theater in Branson, Missouri.

I must confess, I know Andy Williams by name but I didn’t want much television as a child so unfortunately I don’t remember watching him perform on the Tonight Show (or other appearences).

This memoir is well written, it grabs you from the beginning pages when the author shares stories from his youth. Born in 1927, it was interesting to read about life and growing up in the Midwest along with the highs/lows in the entertainment business. Williams’ preformed with his brothers as a child, struggled on his own as a young man but it was a lucky break on Steve Allen’s Tonight Show that made him a household name.

I enjoyed reading the stories of all the celebrities, life as a musician/celebrity and the joy he has as he looks back on his career (and family).

Type: Memoir, 305 pages, Hardcover

A remarkable memoir by one of the most popular and beloved entertainers of the twentieth centuryWhen in the mid-1950s Andy Williams reached a low point in his career, singing in dives to ever-smaller audiences, the young man from Wall Lake, Iowa, had no inkling of the success he would one day achieve. Before being declared a national treasure by President Ronald Reagan, Williams would chart eighteen gold and three platinum albums, headline at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas for more than twenty years, and host an enormously popular weekly television variety show whose Christmas specials still occupy a tender spot in every baby boomer's heart.

Williams knew everybody who was anybody during his seven remarkable decades in show business (including Judy Garland, John Huston, Jack Lemmon, John Lennon, Elton John, Frank Sinatra, Elvis, and Barbra Streisand, among others) and was a close friend of Bobby Kennedy for many years, and he shares memories of them all in Moon River and Me. His millions of fans guarantee a huge audience for the autobiography of the plush baritone who- at the age of eighty-one-still draws thousands of fans to his Moon River Theater in Branson, Missouri.

Review: The Sari Shop

When I saw this title listed on Pump up your book Promotions, I just had to read it. Thank you Dorothy for the opportunity to participate in Shoban’s book tour.

Shoban Bantwal’s background: I was born and raised in a large, conservative Hindu family in a small town called Belgaum in Southwestern India. I was the black sheep of the family, the only tomboy and hellion in a family of five girls. My four sisters were angels—good little Brahmin girls with the perfect mix of academic achievement, modesty and deportment. Needless to say, I single-handedly gave my parents every gray hair they possessed, but they were wonderful parents and to a large degree I owe everything I am today to them. The most valuable things they gave me were an outstanding education and the love of reading.An arranged marriage to a man who happened to live in the U.S. brought me to New Jersey several years ago. After giving birth to a daughter and acquiring a second master’s degree in Public Administration from Rider University, I started working for a government agency, where I continue to work.
In the opening pages of this novel we learn that Anjali and her parents own a Sari shop, the store is not turning a profit and that Uncle Jeevan is coming to the rescue. Anjali, widowed after just a few years of marriages, returns home to help her parents with the Sari Shop. She makes beautiful custom garments and is in change of buying most of the stores items. We follow Anjali and her family as they try to turn around the business. Uncle Jeevan has unexpectedly brought his business for what started as a week long visit. To complicate matters, Anjali is torn between making her family proud and becoming the woman she want to become. This is a theme throughout the novel and reminds us of the strong bond within the indian culture.

I enjoyed learning about the family dynamics in the Indian culture while reading this story. The author’s writing style helps you along, you feel you are listening to Anjali share her tale. This was s great weekend read, an interesting and charming story that I would pass this along to a friend.

Author Q&A
Tell us a little about yourself:
My writing career began as a “menopausal epiphany.” Along with hot flashes, insomnia, hair loss, and mood swings came a sudden and unexpected urge to write stories in my middle age. What started as an absorbing hobby turned into a second full-time occupation. I now have a day job which is quite demanding and a writing career that is equally so. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to be sure I am not dreaming all this. My loving family keeps me grounded and supports me through the ups and downs of being a published author.

Do you write daily? Unfortunately I am not a disciplined writer, so I write when the mood strikes. But when the creative juices are not flowing, I try to edit what I have already written.

What was it like getting your first novel published? Since I more or less stumbled into creative writing, I was a naïve and clueless beginner in 2004. I had no idea about querying agents, or what would appeal to a publisher. I just began to write what interested me, women’s fiction with romantic elements, but brimming with Indian cultural elements and characters. My books did not fit into any genre. They were what I call “Bollywood in a Book,” which encompasses mainstream, women’s fiction, romance, drama, and a bit of everything. I was stunned when after several rejections a reputable agent signed me on and Kensington Publishing offered me a two-book contract. THE DOWRY BRIDE was my first book, which really started out as a short story but I decided to expand into a full-length novel. The journey from wide-eyed novice to multi-published author has been fun but scary, fulfilling but challenging.

What do you think of the electronic book (kindles and such)? While I prefer the feel of a good old-fashioned hard copy book in my hands, I believe e-book readers are a sign of the future of book publishing. As the concept of a green economy gains momentum, Kindles, Sony Readers and such gizmos that use no paper will become the norm. I bet they will become smaller and more powerful, just like cell phones, watches, computers, and all other electronics that went from big and clunky to small and sleek and full of awesome features. Then everyone will tuck a little e-reader in their pocket and read whenever and wherever they want to.

What is one tip that you can share with aspiring writers? I would say to aspiring writers: write what you like and write from your heart. With so many sub-genres appearing every year, whatever you create (written well of course) is likely to catch on eventually. I never thought my books would ever see the light of day, but readers send me wonderful feedback about how much they like my books, mainly because they are different. So keep on plugging away.

What are you reading now? Nora Roberts’s TRIBUTE. I am a huge Nora fan.

Lastly, share one or two of your all time favorite novels read, excluding classics: Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks, The Genesis Code by John Case
Just for fun:Favorite Season: Spring. I love its wealth of flowers and its promise of warm sunshine and balmy breezes.
Morning or night: Morning, especially a sunny morning.
Favorite ice cream flavor: Chocolate
If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go: Greek Islands

To contact me or learn more about my books, author events, book trailer video, recipes, short stories, and sign up for my newsletter, visit my website

Click here to read another author interview

Type: Fiction, 352 pages, Trade paperback

Pungent curry…sweet fried onions…incense…colorful beads…lush fabrics. Shobhan Bantwal's compelling new novel is set on the streets of Edison, New Jersey's Little India, where a young businesswoman rediscovers the magic of love and family…
Since becoming a widow at age twenty-seven, Anjali Kapadia has devoted herself to transforming her parents' sari shop into a chic boutique, brimming with exquisite jewelry and clothing. Now, ten years later, it stands out like a proud maharani amid Edison's bustling Little India. But when Anjali learns the shop is on the brink of bankruptcy, she feels her world unraveling…

To the rescue comes Anjali's wealthy, dictatorial Uncle Jeevan and his business partner, Rishi Shah—a mysterious Londoner, complete with British accent, cool gray eyes, and skin so fair it makes it hard to believe he's Indian. Rishi's cool, foreign demeanor triggers distrust in Anjali and her mother. But for Anjali, he also stirs something else, a powerful attraction she hasn't felt in a decade. And the feeling is mutual…

Love disappointed Anjali once before and she's vowed to live without it—though Rishi is slowly melting her resolve and, as the shop regains its footing, gaining her trust. But when a secret from Rishi's past is revealed, Anjali must turn to her family and her strong cultural upbringing to guide her in finding the truth…

Review: Change in Altitude

I must confess, I have read every novel Anita Shreve has written. I might be a bit biased. This book is not getting great reviews but if you enjoy reading about living in Africa, this is a must read. I have a minor in African studies and felt the details were spot on.

From author's website: For many readers, the appeal of Anita Shreve’s novels is their ability to combine all of the escapist elements of a good beach read with the kind of thoughtful complexity not generally associated with romantic fiction. Shreve’s books are loaded with enough adultery, eroticism, and passion to make anyone keep flipping the pages, but the writer whom People magazine once dubbed a “master storyteller” is also concerned with the complexities of her characters’ motivations, relationships, and lives.
Shreve’s novels draw on her diverse experiences as a teacher and journalist: she began writing fiction while teaching high school, and was awarded an O. Henry Prize in 1975 for her story, “Past the Island, Drifting.” She then spent several years working as a journalist in Africa, and later returned to the States to raise her children. In the 1980s, she wrote about women’s issues, which resulted in two nonfiction books -- Remaking Motherhood and Women Together, Women Alone -- before breaking into mainstream fiction with Eden Close in 1989.

The story behind A Change In Altitude: I lived in Kenya from 1975 to 1978 and worked as a deputy editor for an African magazine called Viva. I was often asked to write articles about various African people and had an opportunity to travel far and wide. I did actually climb Mt. Kenya and make it to the top, but as in all novels, the facts of my stay in Kenya formed only the barest skeleton on which to hang a story. I did have a lovely cottage in Karen, went to a Masai ceremony similar to the one described in the book, and often traveled to African family shambas for meals. I knew the expatriate community reasonably well. None of the characters in the book is based on anyone I ever knew -- particularly Margaret. I have not been back to Kenya since 1978. In the beginning, I had very young children and a trip was out of the question. Later, I began to discover that the country was seldom a very safe place to visit. I remember that several years ago, I got out a Fodor's to read about present-day Kenya: I believe the first sentence was: "Of all the countries we have ever reported on, Kenya is the most lawless." The situation is somewhat better today, but there is still a great deal of unrest. That said, I would love to return to the country of Luo and Kikuyu, of the tea plantations that shimmered in the distance, and of the island of Lamu, an exquisite, almost mystical, place of dreams. I still remember the colors vividly, and I have fond feelings for the wonderful people I met there. In 1978, I returned to this country just a couple of months before Jomo Kenyatta died -- thus ending the period of greatest stability in a country that was once thought to be the safest in Africa.

As for climbing Mt. Kenya, it was the most arduous physical endeavor of my entire life. Though the cast of characters was unlike those I have in the novel, the physical attributes of the mountain are described as I best remember them. The scree and the glacier were brutal, and I reached the top in a blizzard. I couldn't see a thing except tiny bits of white coming at me. I'm told that the glacier can no longer be safely crossed, and that in a very few years, there will be no ice at all on the mountain. Climate change.

A Change in Altitude is about Kenya, but it is also about a marriage and what can happen to that marriage as a result of a single catastrophic moment. It's a theme I often explore. I hope you enjoy the book. Anita

I don’t see a need to provide a summary of the novel with the information included above (and the synopsis below) so I will jump to my thoughts about this book. I will tell you that it’s nice to see Shreve back in top form! This novel is woven with so much detail about life in Africa. I felt like I was there, listening to a friends story. If you enjoyed the Poisonwood Bible, you will like this book. It moves at the same pace.

Type: Fiction, 320 pages, Hardcover

Margaret and Patrick have been married just a few months when they set off on what they hope will be a great adventure-a year living in Kenya. Margaret quickly realizes there is a great deal she doesn't know about the complex mores of her new home, and about her own husband.

A British couple invites the newlyweds to join on a climbing expedition to Mount Kenya, and they eagerly agree. But during their harrowing ascent, a horrific accident occurs. In the aftermath of the tragedy, Margaret struggles to understand what happened on the mountain and how these events have transformed her and her marriage, perhaps forever.

A Change in Altitude illuminates the inner landscape of a couple, the irrevocable impact of tragedy, and the elusive nature of forgiveness. With stunning language and striking emotional intensity, Anita Shreve transports us to the exotic panoramas of Africa and into the core of our most intimate relationships.

Review: Once in a Blue Moon

Thank you Eileen for sending an ARC of Once in a Blue Moon. It was a pleasant surprise to receive a copy, I so enjoyed The Diary.

Eileen Goudge has written 17 novels. I encourage you to visit her website, it’s filled with great content. Here’s a sample (the last line of her Biography): Yes, happy endings do exist, in life as well as in fiction. There's only one catch: You have to write them for yourself. I wish every one of you success in making your own dreams come true.

This book is about two sisters separated for thirty years. The first part of this book sets up the story nicely, their mother is living on the edge leaving Lindsay to take care of her younger sister. Your heart breaks for these girls. They are placed into different homes within the foster care system and do not see each other for thirty years.

To spice up the story, one sister is on the right track and might be a bit ordinary while the other sister has followed their birth mothers steps. The novel explores the building of a relationship, the family and friends surrounding the sisters and the decisions they make as they try to get to know each other. This is a nice story with family dynamics and a story plot. I would compare this book to a Barbara Delinsky selection.

Type: Fiction, 336 pages, Hardcover

Lindsay and Kerrie Ann are sisters who have known hardship from an early age. Without guidance from their neglectful mother, their only aid came from an unlikely source, a retired exotic dancer by the name of Miss Honi Love. When the girls’ mother was sent to prison, Miss Honi tried unsuccessfully to save them from being separated and sent into foster care.

Thirty years later, Lindsay is still trying to reconnect with her sister. The owner of a bookstore in the sleepy California seaside town of Blue Moon Bay, she was lucky enough to have been adopted by a loving couple. Unbeknownst to her, Kerrie Ann has suffered a very different life. Bounced from one foster home to the next, she ran away as a teenager before becoming a drug-addicted single mother. Now, newly sober, Kerrie Ann is fighting to regain custody of the little girl who was taken from her.

Neither sister’s expectations are met when they’re finally reunited. But as the two sisters engage in the fiercest battles of their lives, they are at last drawn together despite their differences, restoring belief in the unshakable bond of family.

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