From page 1, I was drawn in. Not into the actual story, but Wally’s prologue about what started this writing adventure for him that was over a 9 year span, who he loosely based Dolores after, and his pen pal relationship with David F. I loved his ease for storytelling and how vulnerable and open he was to this process of novel writing.
Dolores Price. Wow. This book goes through her life, as she brings me (the reader) along with her through her sadness, anger, and later, her hope. Prior to buying the book, I read the reviews on Amazon and also read that people had mentioned the same thing to Wally: why didn’t you kill Dolores? Why doesn’t she die? Those 2 questions certainly perked my ears and I soon became even more curious to who this character was and why so many people could relate to her.
As I read this book, there were many times I pictured Ruby as Dolores. You know Ruby….the overweight single woman, who was on Oprah at one time, and later had her own show on tv. I watched her show, and along with millions, rooted for her to find out why she overate and cheered when the pounds came off. However, there came a point in her weightloss journey that Ruby didn’t lose weight. Rather she gained, as she started to address some of her fears from childhood. While this isn’t about Ruby, again, I couldn’t help but picture Ruby as Dolores, while I read this book.
The story is about 400+ pages, but it’s so worth every bit of it. Not one page is fluff, as every part of her journey is important to her self discovery and self acceptance. It was astonishing to see how one single event changed the course of Delores’s innocent life and how it impacted her parents and their relationship with one another and their daughter. The weight gain is the outward anger she felt, but the book dives into more of the emotional pain she endured.
There were times that I laughed out loud, cried silently, and cheered, too. This book chronicles Dolores’ life and ends with her not dying, as some had hoped, rather finally living. I loved everything about this book and have not stopped thinking about Dolores. She gives hope to others…if she can make it, you can too. She also shows that when demons and fears are faced, they aren’t so big and cannot take control over a person any longer.
I loved the friendships she made along the way, the crazy love she had for Dante and how her relationship paralleled that of her parents, and how family is who you choose to be part of your life: like Roberta and Mr. Pucci. I can’t forget to mention Dr. Shaw. He reminded me of Virginia Satir, in a video I watched in graduate school. She was helping this young teenage girl work through her eating addiction, with the family involved. Then, there is an after tape, where Virginia is working the family after the young girl takes her own life. I was thankful that Delores didn’t die, didn’t become the whale on the beach, laying lifeless for the world to see. She had done that already, rather she became the whale that emerges from the ocean and sprays her…giving her renewed hope!
Back to Dr. Shaw. I loved his relationship with Delores and how he was always trying something different with her, to unlock those chains she had on herself. I loved the baby to teen progression in the pool, and how he became her mother. Then, when Delores had the epiphany and unleashed all the truths about her mom and its impact on her life…wow! I was crying with her and cheering for Dr. Shaw because he was brave enough to follow through with her and not give up on her before her monumental breakthrough. I was just amazed, simply amazed.
While much happens before her breakthrough with Dr. Shaw, there is more to her story afterwards. So many times, Delores could have fallen back into old patterns of self destructive behavior. However, she is resilient, outspoken, and learns that in order to be loved, she must first love herself.
If you are like me, and are one of the lone rangers who hasn’t read this book, I suggest you read it. If you have read it, read it again. And, if you are feeling exceptionally giving-share this book with others. It’s a great story that uncovers taboos, faces challenges, and gives hope to anyone who feels so lost and alone.
I have been a HUGE advocate for anything Nook, for years. I love Barnes and Noble, love their customer service, and really was sold on Nook over Kindle because of the user friendly library on the readers. I can honestly say that I have owned every Nook device, except the HD+, and have loved them all. However, my committed relationship to Nook slightly broke when I purchased the Nook HD Tablet.
I love the lightness of the device, the quickness compared to the Nook Tablet 16gb, and the longevity of the battery. I could go 2 days without having to charge it, sometimes 3/4 days, depending on how often I was using it. So, what caused my relationship to turn with the latest device, Nook HD??? One simple, yet important factor: I couldn’t download books from Adobe Digital Editions! After being on the phone for hours with various customer service support, I was finally told that the Nook HD didn’t support ADE.
It would have been great to have been told that immediately, instead of being transferred to numerous departments, but it doesn’t matter. What does is my inability to download books from NetGalley, Edelweiss, and Overdrive. Because a huge bulk of my reading is for the purpose of writing reviews for publishers, tour companies, and authors, I really needed access to those 2 companies. Instead, I had to download books to my Nook Simple Touch (Glowlight), onto the SD card, then place that very same SD card into the Nook HD Tablet to access books I’ve downloaded.
While it seems like no big deal, it is. I have to basically be near my computer, plug my Nook Simple Touch to it, and do the few steps needed to download to an SD card. It’s time consuming and when I have other books I can read quicker, I just tend to put those on the back burner…not good!
For years, I have been fascinated with the ipad. I thought it was too costly and didn’t think I would really use it. Other than, I admired it from afar. Having tossed around the idea of buying a Kindle to download books easier and forfeit the need for an SD card, I found myself dragging my feet. I don’t have anything against Amazon or Kindle. I know many people who love Kindle and I love Amazon. Personally, with as much as I spend on Amazon, I think I should have invested in stock!
So, why not Kindle? Well, as I have stated before, and in earlier posts: having owned a Sony before, I was use to the format my books were listed and organized AND I loved the option of downloading books from my library. So, it was natural for me to move to Nook and make it my go-to device for reading on the go. Eventually, paperbacks became a thing of the past and I embraced fully reading on an e-reader. I had bought a Kindle when everyone was raving about them. However, I didn’t think the online library was user-friendly and it was a bit confusing on how to organize my books. With Nook, I can add libraries and it’s more eye appealing.
This brings me to ipad. I mentioned to my husband that it would be nice to have an ipad because I could have both devices: Nook and Kindle, which would make my life easier with the transfer of books. Then, one day I came downstairs from a nap and saw a beautiful white box on my couch. Funny how I associate white boxes with Apple and blue boxes with Tiffany Anyhow, I was elated and a little overwhelmed. What would I do with my Nook devices? How could I abandon Barnes and Noble completely and move towards Apple? Would I find that my love from afar was nothing but eye candy, but no brains? I kinda liked my long distance fascination with ipads and didn’t know what to expect.
I started downloading my books and found ipad very user friendly. I must admit, it is more than what I thought and I am in love. I am sorry to contribute to the Apple and Kindle craze, but I love that I can download quite quickly and directly on my ipad books that I otherwise would have to use the SD card for. I also love that the charge holds forever, I can take it anywhere and choose to use my keyboard if I want. I love that there are so many free apps that my daughter can enjoy,too. In fact, my husband surprised our little girl with her very own ipad mini, and she is also in love. I think we both didn’t know how to act when we received our ipads as gifts and felt a little pulled by abandoning our Nook devices. She would ask about her pink and white book, so I bought the exact case for her ipad mini and she no longer asks. Truthfully, she doesn’t know the difference. But, I do. She has so many more apps to use for education, she loves her Netflix movies, and reading all of her favorite books, which are still on there!
While I no longer use my Nook devices, I will always love and remain loyal to Barnes and Noble. I was given a wonderful device for many years, it brought joy to my life and my daughters, and the customer service canNot be beat!
If you follow Jodi Picoult on Facebook or Twitter, then you have already read the link above. While Jodi wasn’t wanting to create a stir with the ongoing debate between B&N and S&S, it actually brought quite a bit discussion about it’s impact with new authors and having their books available to the public.
Apparently, the on-going discussions between both companies have impacted the book sales of new authors by either B&N not displaying the books and/or not having the books available for immediate purchase. So, much of the discussion was about people choosing not to buy from Barnes and Noble, instead ordering through Amazon, with many also advocating supporting local bookstores.
While I have no issue with people buying from where they wish to, it did bother me that people were so quick to turn their backs on Barnes and Noble. Granted, new authors want every bit of exposure they can get, but why is Barnes and Noble the only target and not their publisher: Simon & Schuster? As an author, I would want my publishing company to do their job and help market my book (online and at retail stores), regardless of any issues going on with one retailer store.
With Borders closing its doors last year, Barnes and Noble is the only large bookstore in my area. Sure, Walmart and Target have books, but the choices are limiting. For example, yesterday I saw a book series that I thought my son would be interested in. However, the only books I could buy we’re books 2,3,&4, NOT book 1. While customer service at Walmart will refer me to their online store to purchase the book, B&N’s customer service will go the extra mile by checking their stock in the back, calling local stores to see if the book is available, or ordering the book for me to pick up at my convenience or have it mailed to my house. The customer service is awesome and anytime I have had issues with my reader, they’ve helped me….without a warranty!
So, when I read that people are going to intentionally avoid Barnes and Noble because they aren’t stocking a lot of S&S books and/or not putting up book displays of emerging authors, it makes me want to scream. Why??? Because every store that is in our communities-your community, employs our neighbors, friends, family, students, and anyone else that needs a job. When a store closes down, it impacts our community and person’s livelihood. Living in Houston, I have seen the first hand effects of those who lost their jobs at NASA and recently talked with 2 friends , whose husbands are going to be laid off due to companies merging.
By people choosing to boycott a store, Barnes and Noble, and vowing to only buy from an online store that has no physical presence, is not being truly fair. There is no way of knowing how Amazon would manage a retail bookstore, nor how they would handle this dispute if they were in B&N’s position. Living in a virtual age, it is expected that we will find what we need online without having to waste time visiting a store to see if the book is in stock. It’s a personal choice for people to choose to shop elsewhere or shop online. However, to be so dismissive and say that because of this ongoing dispute with Simon & Schuster, Barnes and Noble will no longer be supported is not addressing the real issues.
Rather than complain to the choir, step up and do something. Write to Simon & Schuster, write to Barnes and Noble, start a petition, discuss the issues that are most concerning. Don’t just choose not to visit a place. Address the issues!! Don’t just turn your back on a store because you are upset that they are dealing with a dispute right now.
And….quite honestly, this is not solely about Barnes and Noble. What if they decided to never feature a writer or have a table with emerging authors? Then, what? Would people just shop online? People are missing the bigger picture. B&N not having display tables and/or enough books from a certain writer is not the only issue. It’s marketing from S&S, it’s addressing what S&S will do for its authors, and finding creative ways to market the books. Target and Walmart are automatically dismissed because they have smaller book selections and people accept that. It’s understood that book displays won’t be set up due to limited space. Yet, I’ve seen those stores still manage to feature books and authors, and they also select the books they want to sell. Nonetheless, they receive a free pass to sell and do as they wish. So, why not B&N?
I looked online and the books Jodi Picoult listed are available for Nook readers. I appreciate that she is using her presence in the book community to highlight books from talented authors. She was not wanting to wage a war and spear-head it against Barnes and Noble. However, the discussion quickly became about bashing B&N and why people prefer buying from Amazon.
No one suggested starting a petition, writing both companies, or addressing what quite possibly are 2 important issues: e-readers are more popular than paperbacks and the recession. While I know that I have only touched on one side, supporting and finding some understanding with B&N, I can’t help but feel it is the lone ranger and is fighting a very difficult fight against a large publishing company and Amazon, where readers are saying they will shop at. Of course, there are those who are also saying to shop local and visit local libraries. I agree….shop local, support small businesses, and support your community businesses….even Barnes and Noble.
Jodi Picoult listed book titles from emerging authors, who are signed with Simon & Schuster. Here it is:
Holly Goddard Jones The Next Time You See Me
Gwendolen Gross When She Was Gone
Randy Susan Meyers The Comfort of Lies
Hilary Reyl French Lessons
Jamie Mason Three Graves Full
Nancy Bilyeau The Chalice
Lisa Renee Jones If I Were You
The Mapmaker’s War
M.J. Rose The Book of Lost Fragrances
Barnes & Noble also has a list of books, titled, “New Release Tuesdays”.
Barnes & Noble also has a list that is titled, “Discover Great New Authors”.
Link to finding local bookstores in your area:
Thirty-six-year-old Grace McAllister never longed for children. But when she meets Victor Hansen, a handsome, charismatic divorced restaurateur who is father to Max and Ava, Grace decides that, for the right man, she could learn to be an excellent part-time stepmom. After all, the kids live with their mother, Kelli. How hard could it be?
At thirteen, Ava Hansen is mature beyond her years. Since her parents’ divorce, she has been taking care of her emotionally unstable mother and her little brother—she pays the bills, does the laundry, and never complains because she loves her mama more than anyone. And while her father’s new girlfriend is nice enough, Ava still holds out hope that her parents will get back together and that they’ll be a family again. But only days after Victor and Grace get engaged, Kelli dies suddenly under mysterious circumstances—and soon, Grace and Ava discover that there was much more to Kelli’s life than either ever knew.
Narrated by Grace and Ava in the present with flashbacks into Kelli’s troubled past, Heart Like Mine is a poignant, hopeful portrait of womanhood, love, and the challenges and joys of family life.
Told in alternating viewpoints, the storylines switches from past and present throughout the book. Surrounding around the death of Kelli, mom to Ava and ex-wife to Victor, everyone struggles to come to terms with the aftermath and try to understand what caused Kelli’s untimely death. While there were moments I could understand Grace’s feelings, most of the time I just couldn’t connect with her. I really wanted to hear more from Kelli and Ava, as Ava comes to terms with losing her mommy. I think the alternating viewpoints diluted the characters and made it difficult for me to stay interested in the storyline. Overall, it was a book that didn’t resonate with me and I found myself comparing it to another book that I did connect with. I’d suggest you read the book and decide for yourself if this is a book for you! And…because it is important to have differing views, I’ve attached links to a couple of other reviews for this book. Perhaps, they had a completely different experience!
God let Rachel Westing down. For twenty-six years she’s done everything by the book; she figures He should have her back. But then she learns her fiancé is cheating on her. Her parents are getting a divorce. And her Christian mentor has a pill addiction. Where is God in all this? Nowhere, as far as Rachel can see. Wounded, bitter, and with a shattered faith, she quits her job and moves across the country to live with Daphne—her childhood best friend whose soul Rachel once thought she was meant to save.
Confident, successful, fun-loving Daphne sets about helping Rachel reinvent herself, and for a while it’s exciting. But when another tragedy shakes Rachel to the core, what little bit of self-possession she has left begins to unravel. A true-to-life story that will draw you in and keep you biting your nails until the end.
This is a Christian fiction book, definitely geared towards a YA audience. However, as someone a smidge beyond young adult, I also enjoyed the storyline. There are quite a few issues Rachel faces and it’s through her eyes, we read her struggles and her anger towards God. I thought this book could definitely help those facing similar issues and how inspite of ourselves, God does not abandon us. While I would have liked a little more storyline after Daphne’s hospitalization and aftermath, the author did a nice wrap up and bring closure to issues Rachel was still faced with. I highly recommend this book to those who love a great Christian fiction read with some real life issues many people face today.
In 1891, spinster librarian, Olive Wilkins, is shocked to learn of her brother’s violent death at a saloon gaming table and her sister-in-law’s subsequent murder, traveling far from her staid life to rescue her niece and nephew, now orphans. She arrives to find the circumstances of her brother’s life deplorable and her long held beliefs of family and tradition, shaken.
Accustomed to the sophistication of Philadelphia, Olive arrives in Spencer, Ohio, a rough and tumble world she is not familiar with, facing two traumatized children. Her niece and nephew, Mary and John, have been living with a neighboring farmer, widower Jacob Butler, the father of three young children of his own and a man still in pain from the recent loss of his wife.
Real danger threatens Olive and Mary and John while Jacob and his own brood battle the day-to-day struggles for survival. Will Olive and Jacob find the strength to fight their battles alone or together? Will love conquer the bitterness of loss and broken dreams?
I loved this book! Very sweet and well written. I read this book in about 2 days and enjoyed the storyline and characters. I don’t typically enjoy western type of books, and this reminded me of one with the setting. However, it is really about a story of second chances, family, and starting over. Jacob is grieving and angry over the loss of his wife, while Olive leaves the comfort of her routine life in Philadelphia to move to Ohio so that she can take the children of her deceased brother. Upon arriving, Olive slowly strips her spinster persona as Jacob slowly starts to see that beyond Olive’s exterior and slowly falls in love with who Olive is. I enjoyed the way the story progressed and the simplicity in the story, as it covered a difficult situation: a family losing their mom and a sister losing her brother. Overall, I would recommend this story!
Historical Book Tours is providing a free e-book (the format of your choice) to 1 winner!
1 winner will be selected to win, Romancing Olive, by Holly Bush.
The winner will be contacted and HBT will send an e-book copy!
Giveaway ends March 31, 2013.
Simply enter in the comment area:
your name, email, and what you liked about the synopsis to be entered in the giveaway.
*Historical Book Tours provided a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Cassie Blake seems to lead a charmed life as the heiress to Fenton’s, San Francisco’s most exclusive department store. But when she discovers her husband, Aidan, a handsome UC Berkeley professor, has had an affair with a student, she flees to the comfort of her best friend Alexis’s Presidio Heights mansion, where she wonders if she should give their marriage one more chance.
Whether or not she can forgive Aidan is not the only choice Cassie has to make. Cassie’s mother is eager to have her oversee the opening of Fenton’s new Food Emporium, which Fenton’s hopes will become San Francisco’s hottest gourmet shopping destination. Cassie’s true passion has always been food, not fashion, and Cassie suspects her mother might be trying to lure her into the Fenton’s fold by entrusting her with such an exciting opportunity. And then there is James, the architect designing the Emporium, who is quietly falling in love with her…
First of all, the book cover does not do the book justice!! I would have loved to have seen a red box or “princess” bag from Fenton’s because of the vivid detail Anita Hughes describes the bags and boxes at Fenton’s, a department store that becomes a focal point in the storyline.
Aside from the cover, I absolutely loved the book! I connected with the characters, loved the plot, and enjoyed following the twists and turns throughout the book. While I am not a fashionista by any means, I found myself mesmerized with the detail of Fenton’s (a department store), the fashion styles described in the book, and the trendy, wealthy customers that passed through Fenton’s each day. There was such detail to the art, organic food co-op and emporium, that it made me feel that I was there. Despite the detail, the storyline did not get bogged down with so much information. Rather, it enhanced the reading experience and made me feel like I was a fly on a wall.
Cassie has some life decisions to make that will certainly alter her future. Cassie processes her feelings and thoughts about her marriage, her career choices, and the demands of her mother (owner of Fenton’s). Cassie’s best friend, Alexis helps Cassie through this difficult time as she helps Cassie figure out what to do next. While the relationship between Cassie and her mother isn’t a primary focus in this book, it certainly affects Cassie in certain business decisions she makes. I loved Cassie and Alexis’ relationship and how they remained close despite being so different.
While this book will certainly be a favorite among those who love the chick-lit genre, this book certainly crosses over genres that will attract a larger audience of adults. Market Street will become a book club favorite among women, and a great read for anyone that loves fashion and gourmet food. Sprinkle in husband/wife issues, mother/daughter issues, and a fork in the road with a career choice, and it is a recipe for a must read!
I hope Anita Hughes will consider a follow-up to this book as I would certainly read that in a minute!! Buy this book, grab a cup of chai tea, and find a comfortable chair…you will love this book!
Connect with the Author
*This book was provided by St. Martin’s Press, in exchange for an honest review.
When an old woman is asked to tell the story of her life, she tells an intense and poignant tale about growing up in and surviving a warring suburban family during the 1950s and ’60s.
Written as a memoir, each chapter describes a particular incident in Lucia’s life which shows the constant struggle between her parents and the perverse effect it has on her and her family. From her complicated and unwanted birth, to her witnessing a suicide at age 3, to her stint as a runaway at age 14, the story progresses to the final crisis where as a young woman she is turned out of her house and banished from her family forever.
Told in breathtakingly beautiful prose, this is a powerful and timeless story of a dying woman’s courageous attempt to come to terms with her past and the troubled family that dominated it.
This book (under its former title of “My Life in Dogs, the Early Years”) was a Quarter finalist in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest. It was also on the short list of finalists in the 2012 Faulkner-Wisdom Writing Competition.
The synopsis sounds fantastic and I was very eager to participate in TLC’s book tour. The story starts out quite interesting, but then takes a downward spiral. Very lengthy with little dialogue, as it is told in 1st person, it becomes quite intense with little respite with sprinkles of joy and fun memories. Rather, it is such a intense and depressing storyline, that you almost wonder how a 100+ year old woman could live that long with not much joy. I would have liked to have read more dialogue, had more joyful memories to balance the book, and perhaps developed the relationship between Lucia and the doctoral student/researcher. There were moments that didn’t seem very realistic…children don’t typically remember suicides at 3 years old, nor do they remember the memories with such vivid detail. The chapters seemed to focus on different ages of Lucia and there were moments that Lucia’s age jumped around, rather than stay constant with her aging as the chapters progressively in chronological order. One chapter, she would be 4, then next she was 3. Overall, I would have liked a more balanced book emotionally and more detail in the personal relationships between Lucia and others, rather than the relationships between others and observed through Lucia.
*The book was provided by TLC, in exchange for an honest review.