Wednesday, April 6, 2011
By Mary Alice Monroe
ARC generously given to me
by Galley Books.
Four very different women embark on a transformational journey that follows the migrating monarchs across the United States to Mexico. The story begins when Luz Avila's grandmother, the local butterfly lady, purchases an old, orange VW bug for a road trip home to Mexico. When she unexpectedly dies, Luz is inspired to take her grandmother's ashes home. In the manner of the Aztec myth of the goddess who brings light to the world, Luz attracts a collection of lost women, each seeking change in their lives. The Mexican people believe the monarchs are the spirits of the recently departed and Luz taps into ancient rituals and myths as she follows the spectacular, glittering river of orange monarchs in the sky to home.
I usually don't do a review on a book till I have read the book through its entirety. But because Mary Alice Monroe is a local author, near Charleston. I had to sing out praises for this one. Her novel, Butterfly's Daughter will be published on May 3rd. Of course I am still going to review the entire book.
I have never read Mary Alice Monroe's novels before. All I knew she is a ecology activist. Her novels are based on the turtles. Many turtles in SC have died because of lack of knowledge about the survival of the turtles.
Now that said, I will tell you I am loving this novel from from the first word. The book opened my heart. Already I am emotional during my read. I laughed, cried, and that is only on pg. 50
First off, let me tell you this is not Chich-lit or a Beach Read!!
The book is so vivid, I could see Luz, and her Abuela(grandmother) in front of me. Mary Alice's description of the character's, physically and emotionally is so vivid. How she describes their home I can see it vividly. The writing is so fluid.
I am the type of reader that does not like descriptive writing. But for some reason this work with this novel. I am not a professional reviewer or writer. I am sure you can tell that by reading my blog. I usually don't write about the writing style. I don't notice most of the time about the writing. But, for some reason in this novel I notice.
I am not the kind a person that reads books with supernatural, and mystism in it. It grabbed me right from the start of the novel. I am a straight forward person. I think this novel may surprise you, as it did me. But, because Mary Alice Monroe is a local author I thought to give her a try. I was surprised.
I plan to post on the literary road trip. Local bloggers write about the local author's they read by spreading the word and sharing their reading experiences with others.
I was fortunate to recieve this novel from Mary Alice and her publicist before the release date.
Stay tuned for the entire review in a couple of weeks. If you want more info. about the book and the author you may visit her webpage here.
Monday, April 4, 2011
By Caroline Leavitt
The story is about two women, April and Isabelle. April is unhappily married to Charlie, with a young asthmatic child, named Sam.
Isabelle, married very young. She wanted to pursue a degree in photography. But instead she works in a photography studio. Whats worse is Luke, her husband got a another woman pregnant. Through all this Isabelle wants more from life, than this.
Both women are on a collision course. Both women are on a different path. Their lives intersect on a foggy road. Their lives, are on a collision course, literally. April is killed, April's son Sam survives the accident.
The story is multi layered about all kinds of relationships. Relationships of mothers, fathers, friends, acquaintances, lovers, and friendships. It also raises the question about guilt and forgiveness.
The story was a fast read, what I would call a beach read. It was a faced paced novel with lots of what if's and could have and would haves. It was hard to put this novel down. There were many unexplained events that you find out about later on in the book. You don't find out till much later why April was out that foggy night.
I like how the author kept us in suspense about this till much later. It was a great technique. If we found out earlier in the book, I am sure the story would have been" so what".
The one part I will say, I am glad that Isabelle came to her senses. She kept rushing to Charlie's side. Charlie did not want her there. He only wanted her when it was convenient for him. I was like, stop beating a dead horse. Leave him already.. Thank g-d she came to her senses.
She was offered a scholarship from a college in NYC. She finally was pursuing her dream and no one and nothing was finally going to get in her way, not even guilt( love of Sam or Charlie).
Charlie, was so wimpy at this point he did not know what he wanted. One minute he wanted Isabelle, the next he was conflicting about his love of his wife, April. By then it was too late.
Some parts of the story I felt sorry for him. Because I think genuinely, he was scared that he would loose his son. But, I think part he was just using his son's illness as a excuse.
These are the few things that bothered me about the book. Really, do you really think that a Charlie would have a relationship with Isabelle( the woman that caused the accident). I had to keep telling myself this is fiction. This did make a good story though.
I don't think it was necessary to fast forward to Sam as a adult. The meeting was unbelievable I felt. I don't know any man that kept going over blame and guilt several times.
My comment, to that end I still enjoyed reading this The depth of character was very multi layered. There would be lots to discuss for a book club, even though I felt it was a beach read.
Thanks for reading and stopping by,
Sunday, April 3, 2011
I have been wanting to send care packages to our military. I finally found my way of thanking our military. Everyone that knows me understands I enjoy sharing my adventure of reading. I would enjoy sharing my books, knowing it would go to a soldier, marine, air force, navy, coast guard that has some spare time to read.
I receive many books from publishers. What a nice way to send them, and pass them on to someone that would enjoy them. If you would also like to get involved, you may go to their website, book for soldiers.