Sunday, March 30, 2014

New in Paperback- Fly Away by Kristin Hannah


Fly Away by Kristin Hannah
Published by St. Martin's Griffin ISBN 978-1250031815
Trade paperback, $15.99, 432 pages
Spoiler Alert: If you have not read the first book in the series, Firefly Lane, and plan to do so, DO NOT read this review.
















Readers who were devastated by the ending to Kristin Hannah's novel Firefly Lane had better buckle their seat belts for the beginning of her long awaited sequel, Fly Away. We watch the family of Kate grieve horribly for her and then fast forward to four years later when another tragedy befalls them.

Johnny didn't know how to go on without the love of his life Kate, and after her funeral he packs up his family for a week in Hawaii. His seven-year-old twin boys are distracted by the trip, but sixteen year-old Marah needs her friends to help her get through her grief, something her father doesn't understand.

Marah is taking her mother's death very hard, mostly because they had a rocky relationship during Marah's teen years. She feels so guilty that they wasted valuable fighting when they didn't know how little time they had left.

Johnny doesn't know how to reach his daughter and as she slips farther away, it seems that everything he does is wrong, including moving them all to Los Angeles for a fresh start. He needs to move away from the memories, neglecting to understand that Marah needs to cling to them.

Meanwhile Tully, who walked away from her successful Oprah-like talk show to care for Kate during her last months, has lost her career. She promised to be there for Kate's family, but she has no experience and her efforts end in disaster.

With no job, no boyfriend and Kate's family estranged from her, Tully spirals out of control. She drinks, she takes too many prescription pills and she can't seem to pull herself out. All Tully wants is to matter to someone, and after being rejected many times over by her mother Cloud, she feels bereft.

Tully doesn't know that her mother, now using her given name Dorothy, has changed her life. She hit rock bottom, and is now living a simple life in their old home on Firefly Lane. Does she have the strength to be there for her daughter when she needs her most, after all the years of neglect?

Marah meanwhile has become involved with troubled young man she met in a grief group therapy. She lives in a crummy apartment with several hangers-on, working a dead-end job and has no contact with her family.

Hannah weaves Marah's, Tully's and Dorothy's stories together with a deft touch. The tragic event that brings them together upends their lives and forces each of them to dig deep inside themselves to discover who they really are.

I read Fly Away immediately after reading the prequel Firefly Lane, and that was a good decision. I became so invested in these wonderful characters and wanted to yell at them when they did something stupid or selfish and hug them when they needed it. I tore through both books and cried endlessly. Hannah can really push the emotion button on me.

To all those who waited years for this sequel, I believe they will feel that the wait was worth it. Revisiting these unforgettable characters was a trip worth taking.

rating 5 of 5

My review of Firefly Lane is here.
My blog post of Kristin Hannah's visit to Barnes & Noble is here.
 Kristin Hannah's website is here. 


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Weekend Cooking- Come Home to Supper by Christy Jordan

This post is part of Beth Fish Reads' Weekend Cooking.  If you have anything related to food, cookbook reviews, novel or non-fiction book reviews, recipes, movie reviews, etc., head over to Beth Fish Reads and add your post. Or, if you want to read food related posts, head over to read what some interesting people have to say about food. 

Come Home to Supper by Christy Jordan
Published by Workman Publishing ISBN 978-0761174905
Paperback, $16.95, 320 pages

The premise behind Christy Jordan's newest cookbook, Come Home to Supper, is the importance of the family gathering together every night for supper. Her mother told her that you can learn the most interesting things from your children at the family supper table.

I firmly believe this; my husband and two sons and I tried to eat supper together as often as possible and it is also a great way to teach your children proper table manners. Even though my sons are in the twenties, we enjoy having Sunday dinner together when we can.

Jordan's book includes 200 recipes in the traditional categories of Beef, Chicken, Pork, Salads, Breads, Casseroles, Desserts, etc. She adds some interesting side bars about family trips, mealtime conversation starters and sweet remembrances of her grandparents. The family angle adds a lovely dimension to this book.

Come to Supper is geared towards people who probably have not been cooking much for their family, more advanced cooks will already have many of these dishes in their repertoire. Jordan covers many of the basics, with a Southern flair to her dishes.

She did have several recipes that I would like try, including:

  • Beef Patties With Ketchup Gravy (my guys would love this!)
  • House Autry Pork Chops
  • Old Fashioned Sticky Chicken
  • Italian Beef Sandwiches
  • Chocolate Sundae Cake
I like that the recipes don't call for ingredients that most of us don't already have in our pantries. She uses saltine crackers, Italian dressing and makes lots of BBQ-flavored dishes. She includes a Mix and Match Casserole Chart, listing ingredients and the different ways to combine them to make several casseroles. 

Jordan uses her slow-cooker frequently, and this will be helpful for those people who don't have lots of time in the afternoon or evening to cook a meal. She also has two pages- one for Sunday Menus and one for Weeknight Menus- that will help pull the entire meal together.

At the end of the book, Jordan gives recipes for things like Cream of Mushroom Soup, BBQ Sauces, Simple Marinara Sauce, and Homemade Whipped Cream. This is perfect for those of us who don't like to use processed canned foods and wish to control salt and preservatives in our diets.

Workman always does a wonderful job with their cookbooks. This book is a bargain at only $16.95 list price, you get 200 recipes; you won't find that in many places.

Here is Christy Jordan's recipe for
Granny’s Oven Fried Chicken


Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs*
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup Italian dressing
  • 3-4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a shallow bowl or pie plate, stir together bread crumbs, cheese, parsley flakes, garlic salt, and pepper. Pour Italian dressing into a separate shallow bowl.
  3. Dip each chicken breast into the salad dressing to coat both sides, then dredge it in the bread crumb mixture and transfer it to a plate.
  4. Place chicken breasts in the prepared baking dish and bake until they are cooked through, 30-40 minutes.

Christy Jordan's website, Southern Plate, is here. 

 rating 4 of 5

Thursday, March 27, 2014

My Boyfriend Barfed In My Handbag by Jolie Kerr

My Boyfriend Barfed In My Handbag and Other Things You Can't Ask Martha by Jolie Kerr
Published by Plume  ISBN 978-0-14-21963-9
Trade paperback $15, 238 pages

I don't like cleaning. There, I said it. I'm not one of those people who look forward to spring because it means I can get out the cleaning supplies and go to town.

But I was intrigued by the title of Jolie Kerr's book My Boyfriend Barfed In My Handbag and Other Things You Can't Ask Martha. You gotta admit, that's a catchy title. Kerr's book expands upon her cleaning column "Ask A Clean Person."

The book is filled with practical advice, her most important "Never mix bleach and ammonia", something you know must be very dangerous because she repeats it until she is sure you have it.

I liked the layout of the book; the chapters are divided into rooms- kitchen, bathroom, and specialty cleaning like bridal dresses and how to clean your car. I never thought about all of the mishaps that can occur to a wedding dress, but have no fear, Kerr has your answer (and it frequently involves club soda).

She has fantastic charts for types of flooring, beauty items, and kitchen appliances that are great for quick references. I made a list of her suggested cleaning products and headed to the store to stock up.

I put the book to the test and followed her advice to make my bathroom sparkle. I gave it a thorough scrubbing, following her step by step instructions, including mopping the floor using the handsie kneesie method. It looks amazing, but I don't want anyone to use it. I'd love to velvet rope it off.

There are some funny anecdotes, mostly questions sent in to Kerr (like the title question) and the chapter on cleaning sex toys is unique for sure. I have not seen that topic covered in Ladies' Home Journal or Real Simple magazines.

My husband is thrilled that I read this book because our apartment will be shiny clean, and so he doesn't even mind that I am adding another book to my permanent collection.

Rating 4 of 5

Thanks to TLC Tours for putting me on this tour. The rest of Jolie's tour stops are here.

Jolie Kerr’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, March 17th:  Sara’s Organized Chaos
Thursday, March 20th:  Literate Housewife
Monday, March 24th:  Daily Mayo
Tuesday, March 25th:  Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Thursday, March 27th:  Bookchickdi
Monday, March 31st:  2 Kids and Tired
Monday, March 31st: 5 Minutes for Mom
Wednesday, April 2nd:  A Novel Idea
Monday, April 7th:  A Bookish Affair
Tuesday, April 8th:  Bibliophilia, Please
Monday, April 14th:  Cici’s Theories
Wednesday, April 16th:  The Book Wheel
Thursday, April 17th:  Books a la Mode
Monday, April 21st:  Mockingbird Hill Cottage







Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Reader's Book of Days- February

A Reader's Book of Days by Tom Nissley
Published by W.W. Norton ISBN 978-0-393-23962-1
Hardcover, $24.95, 448 pages


My father-in-law gave me a copy of Tom Nissley's A Reader's Book of Days, and since the book is broken into sections by month in calendar form, I decided to recap the entries each month. Here is January's post.

In the suggested readings for February, the ones that intrigued me most are:

  • Persuasion by Jane Austen, chosen because February is Valentine's Day and a love letter plays a key part in the story.
  • Life and Times of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass, his third autobiography, here because Douglass celebrated his birthday on Valentine's Day
  • The Breaks of the Game by David Halberstam- the story of the Portland Trailblazers' 1979-1980 losing season
Some of the most interesting February facts are:
  • On February 3rd, NYPD undercover officer Frank Serpico was shot in what may have been a set up for his testifying against fellow cops regarding corruption in the NYPD. Peter Maas told his story in Serpico.
  • Author Betty Friedan (The Feminine Mystique) was born on February 4th, 1921 and died on February 4th in 2006.
  • On February 12th, 1976, author Mario Vargas Llosa punched his friend Gabriel Garcia Marquez in the face at the movie premiere of Survivors of the Andes over something Marquez allegedly said to Llosa's wife. Possibly the first (and last?) time Nobel laureates had fisticuffs. (Or maybe not, who knows with those crazy Nobel laurates?)
  • Malcolm X calls author Alex Haley to check on his manuscript for The Autobiography of Malcolm X on February 20th, 1965. Malcolm X was assassinated the next day and Doubleday canceled the contract.
  • Sylvia Plath meets her future husband Ted Hughes at a raucous poetry review party in Cambridge, England. He kisses her, she bites his cheek bad enough to draw blood, they stumble drunkenly back to her home and they marry that June.
  • Is dord a word?
I'll check back in March; it looks like a fabulous month so far.




Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Four Friends by Robyn Carr

Four Friends by Robyn Carr
Published by Robyn Carr ISBN 978-0-7783-1681-7
Trade paperback, $14.95, 370 pages

I don't read many romance novels, and I associate Harlequin Publishing with that genre. But over the last few years, Harlequin has branched out with their Mira imprint to publish books that will appeal to a wider audience.

Last year at the Book Expo of America, Jason Mott's novel, The Returned, was one of the books getting a big push. There were huge banners and lots of Advanced Reader Copies given away. I read and liked that one, the story of people who died and came back years later with no explanation. ABC turned the book into a TV series now running titled Resurrection. (My review of The Returned is here.)

Now comes Robyn Carr's latest novel, Four Friends, which tells the story of, yes, four friends. Geri and her husband Phil are very busy, with two full-time, all-encompassing careers (she works for Child Protective Services and he is an assistant district attorney) and three teenage children. They don't always have time to do everything they want, but they have a solid marriage- or so Geri believes.

Andy is Geri's best friend and is on the verge of her second divorce, this time from a hot younger guy. Her son is Geri's son's friend, but he has been very distant lately, something she attributes to her marital problems with a guy he doesn't really like. Her second divorce in ten years has left her depressed.

Sonja is a curious mix of Type A control freak and New Age yoga instructor. She forces Andy and Geri to power walk every morning, and has always been there for her friends with a friendly shoulder to lean on, and taking charge when they need help with anything. She keeps her wealthy, older husband George on a tight leash, monitoring his diet and stress levels to keep him healthy, but she is unaware that he is deeply unhappy.

BJ is the newest woman in the neighborhood, a single mom with two young children. She keeps to herself, running alone every morning, but occasionally she can be encouraged to join the ladies in their early morning walks. There is a mystery to her, but one that most readers can at least in part guess.

Their worlds seem to come apart one summer when Geri learns that her perfect marriage may not be so solid. Maybe because I have been married as long as Geri, I was most involved in her story. I felt that Carr delved most deeply in her character, and she realistically portrayed the challenges of balancing a marriage, raising teenagers and having a demanding career. And she wrote a few very hot sex scenes for this long married couple.

Andy finds herself inexplicably attracted to the man remodeling her kitchen- fifty-three-year-old, balding, not-turn-your-head-attractive Bob. Bob and Andy get to know each other with their nightly chats, and everyone can guess where this is headed, but it is sweet watching it happen. If you don't root for Bob, well, I don't want to know you.

Sonja is stunned when George can't take anymore New Age nonsense and leaves. She completely falls apart, and it is up to her friends to put aside their problems to come to her rescue. It takes awhile, but eventually we get to Sonja's backstory and the reason for her control issues.

Mysterious BJ has a fascinating story, but perhaps because she is the one furthest from the circle, we don't find out as much about her as the others, until the end of the story. I liked BJ, she has good intuition, and a prequel or sequel with her character would be interesting.

Watching these four women help each other and deal with issues on their own makes for a terrific read. I was drawn into their lives, and felt like I could be watching their stories play out from my window in their neighborhood. Some characters are given more time than others, as there are too many characters to give all equal time. (Bob and Geri's mother-in-law were two of my favorites.)

The author clearly believes in counseling; many of the characters go into marital counseling, psychiatric counseling, and group counseling. At times, it seemed to be that everyone was in counseling.

This would be a good book club pick. There are many issues at play here- domestic abuse, depression, marital infidelity, divorce, raising teenagers, menopause, and keeping secrets among others- enough to keep a lively talk going, and there are discussion questions at the end to guide you.

rating 4 of 5

Robyn Carr's website is here.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Weekend Cooking- Foods That Harm, Foods That Heal Cookbook

This post is part of Beth Fish Reads' Weekend Cooking.  If you have anything related to food, cookbook reviews, novel or non-fiction book reviews, recipes, movie reviews, etc., head over to Beth Fish Reads and add your post. Or, if you want to read food related posts, head over to read what some interesting people have to say about food. 

Reader's Digest Foods That Harm, Foods That Heal Cookbook
Published by Reader's Digest ISBN 978-1-62145-058-0
Paperback, $19.99, 354 pages

Reader's Digest has published a companion to their guide Foods That Harm, Foods That Heal adding 250 recipes in their new book, Foods That Harm, Foods That Heal Cookbook. This is the kind of book that you can refer to frequently, and the clean, organized layout makes that so easy to do.

After an introduction that gives an nutritional guide, healthy cooking basics, and smart shopping tips, the first section lists food alphabetically, giving the serving size (including calorie counts), a quick chart as to how it harms, what conditions and illnesses it heals, and the nutrients contained in each food item.

It describes what to look for when buying it, how to store it, how to cook it, and recipes using the item. For example, under avocados, we learn that it can help with high cholesterol and blood sugar swings. You should look for one that is just slightly firm if you are using them right away but if you are using them later, they should be firm.

The second section gives you 250 healthy recipes in which to use your newfound information, divided into such categories Breakfast, Soups and Stews, Salads, Entrees,  and Desserts. Looking through the book, there are some recipes that caught my eye, including:

  • Summer Greens Scramble- a quick egg whites and kale breakfast
  • Broccoli Potato Soup- that adds yogurt instead of cream
  • Tuscan Veal Chops
Each recipe gives nutritional information as well as prep time, cook time, the healing foods included and the ailments it heals.

The third section list ailments (hay fever, constipation, jet lag) alphabetically and the foods that harm, foods that heal and foods to limit. It tells you how to eat to help your ailment, gives a sample day's meal plan (breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, dessert), as well as other recipes to try.

For example, anyone with eczema should avoid milk, eggs, and nuts and should eat carrots, mangoes, and green leafy vegetables. Adding flax seed and drinking three cups of oolong tea per day can give you the polyphenols that suppress allergic reactions. The comprehensive index lists ailments, recipes and more to help you find what you are looking for at a glance. 

The only complaint I have is using the term "foods that heal". While many foods will help heal ailments like jet lag, hay fever, to write that these foods can 'heal' depression, anorexia or cancer seems too simplistic; perhaps it would be better to say that these foods can harm or help, rather than harm or heal.

rating 4 of 5


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Short & Sweet Review: The Widow's Guide to Sex and Dating by Carole Radziwill

The Widow's Guide to Sex and Dating by Carole Radziwill
Published by Henry Holt & Co. ISBN 978-080509846
Hardcover, $25, 320 pages
Genre: Fiction
The Plot: Claire Byrne is married to Charlie, a reknowned sexologist, author of many books on the subject. One day, he is killed by a huge statue falling from a crane on Fifth Avenue in New York. Claire finds herself a widow in her 30s and completely lost as to what to do next.
She goes to two different therapists, visits psychics and even follows a griot, a storyteller who travels the city sharing stories about famous New York City dwellers, to try and find her way to a new life. Then she meets Jack Huxley, the notoriously heterosexual movie star whom every woman wants, and has some sort of relationship with him.
Throughout the novel, Claire shares the rules she is learning about sex and dating for widows, like 
Rule #34- "Never discourage anyone who continues to make progress, no matter how slow" (Plato)
Rule #29- A boy says, "Have a good trip", a man says "Call me when you land."

Short & Sweet Review: I loved Carole's emotional and moving memoir What Remains, about losing her young husband to cancer and her two best friends, John F. Kennedy and his wife Carolyn in a plane crash. It is a brilliant book, and so I was interested to see what her fiction would be like.
This is definitely a book for anyone who loves to immerse themselves in the wealthy NYC culture; those who religiously watch The Real Housewives of New York City will love it (and Radziwill is a cast member of that show). 
Claire is an interesting character, a little snarky, and her journey through widowhood (the depression, the setups with widowers forty years older) rings true. She is trying to find her place after being in the shadow of her famous husband, what her friend describes as "Charlie's Sundance to Claire's Butch Cassidy. "He cheats at poker and shoots up the room" Sasha liked to say, "while she collects the money and tidies up." That is a fantastic description of their marriage.
The best part of the book are the Jack Huxley sections. Huxley clearly is meant to be George Clooney, and Radziwill dated Clooney years ago, which makes this novel all the more delicious. I'm not sure Clooney will be thrilled though.
Fans of Gigi Levangie's books (The Starter Wife) will like this one; there is the same mix of humor and poignancy.

rating 4 of 5

Carole Radziwill's website is here.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Accident by Chris Pavone

The Accident by Chris Pavone
Published by Crown Publishing ISBN 978-0-385-34845-4
Hardcover, $26, 385 pages

Chris Pavone won the Edgar Award for his first novel last year, The Expats, which I read and enjoyed. It featured Kate, a former CIA operative who moves to Europe with her husband and son and finds herself caught up in a dangerous situation that her nerdy husband created. It was a fast-paced read, with lots of twists and turns, a real page-turner.

His newest novel, The Accident, has as one of it's main characters, Hayden, a mysterious CIA operative (is there any other kind?) who worked with Kate in The Expats. (Kate makes a cameo appearance here, which is fun.)

Pavone worked in the publishing business, which plays a big role in The Accident. Isabel Reed, a literary agent, receives a mysterious manuscript at her office. It is a biography of media mogul Charlie Wolfe, one of the most powerful people on the planet, who just happens to be planning a Senate run.

The author is "Anonymous", and this person has some bombshell revelations about Mr. Wolfe, including the fact that he accidentally killed a college coed and, with his father, a deputy CIA director, and his best friend David, who was with him, got rid of the body. Oh, and he also helped the CIA destroy reputations and influence elections in other countries.

It would seem that the author is David, but David committed suicide by flying his plane into the sea after getting a terminal cancer diagnosis. But did he really die? They found the plane, but no body.

Hayden is tasked with finding the real author and retrieving every copy of the manuscript that exists. When people who have made copies of the manuscript end up dead, Isabel Reed must go on the run and try to outwit the killer.

Just like The Expats, The Accident is a real barn burner. You must be prepared to set aside enough time to read it in one sitting, because you will not be able to put it down. I find it interesting that Pavone writes such fascinating female characters, first Kate, and now Isabel, as the protagonists in his thrillers. They are the real stars of these action-packed novels.

If you are interested in the publishing world, Pavone gives you a real insider's look. I only hope that it is not as dangerous as it appears here. In his Acknowledgements, he lists many of the people who don't always get a thank you, including the sales and marketing team, and the copy editors and proofreaders at Crown Publishing, which was a nice touch.

Fans of John Grisham will enjoy Pavone's books, as they are heavy on plot twists, with a few jaw-dropping revelations that had me nearly dropping my book. I highly recommend both of Pavone's books, and was happy to see that in this book, I wasn't as confused by the ending as I was by The Expats.  I could see both of these books as films, and if they haven't been optioned yet, they should be.

rating 4 of 5


Chris Pavone's website is here.
My review of The Expats is here. 

Read an excerpt of The Accident here.





Thanks to TLC Tours for putting me on this tour. The rest of Chris Pavone's stops are here.

Monday, March 3rd:  No More Grumpy Bookseller
Monday, March 3rd:  Drey’s Library
Monday, March 3rd:  Why Girls are Weird
Wednesday, March 5th:  A Bookish Way of Life
Thursday, March 6th:  Bookish Ardour
Friday, March 7th:  She Treads Softly
Monday, March 10th:  Joyfully Retired
Tuesday, March 11th:  Bound by Words
Tuesday, March 11th:  Mockingbird Hill Cottage
Tuesday, March 11th:  Kritter’s Ramblings
Wednesday, March 12th:  Book Dilettante
Friday, March 14th:  River City Reading
Monday, March 17th:  Staircase Wit
Tuesday, March 18th:  Bookchickdi
Wednesday, March 19th:  Book-alicious Mama
Thursday, March 20th:  Chaotic Compendiums
Friday, March 21st:  Not in Jersey
Monday, March 24th:  A Bookworm’s World
Tuesday, March 25th:  Reading Reality
Wednesday, March 26th:  Bibliotica
Thursday, March 27th:  Ageless Pages Reviews
Friday, March 28th:  Patricia’s Wisdom




Monday, March 17, 2014

Clever Girl by Tessa Hadley

Clever Girl by Tessa Hadley
Published by Harper Collins ISBN 978-0-06-227039-9
Hardcover, $25.99, 256 pages

Most people lead ordinary lives, and their stories may not appear at first to be that fascinating to others. Stella is one of those people in Tessa Hadley's Clever Girl.  Stella lived with her single mother in a city in 1960s England. Her mother told her that her father had died when Stella was a baby, but Stella learned that he had actually left them.

She was close to her mother, as it was just the two of them. That is, until the day Stella's mother remarries, and Stella gets a stepfather and then a baby brother.  Stella does well in school, she is a clever girl, until she discovers boys and falls madly in love with Val. They spend all of their time together, but something is not quite right.

Stella makes one mistake that changes her entire life and future. Instead of graduating and going to university, Stella becomes pregnant, and Val heads off the United States to avoid trouble, not even knowing he will be a father.

Clever Girl realistically shows the difficulties of being an unwed mother, having a child so young. Stella and the baby move from her mother's home to stay with her aunt. I love this description of Stella at this time:
"I wasn't quite grateful enough; this was just a flaw in my character at that time in my life, I couldn't help seeing things bitterly, looking at everything-even kindness- with irony."
Stella ends up working and living at a boys boarding school. She leaves there to move in with Fred, an old teacher of Val's, who now teaches at the boarding school.  From there she ends up living at a commune, having another baby.

She has two young sons to support and no good job prospects. She moves back in with Fred, who adores her sons. Stella's life suffocates her, and she takes to running away; she drops the boys off at her mother's, and then she runs away, not knowing when she will return.

Stella finally gets to be a clever girl when she goes to university. Like many older students, she focused on working hard and succeeding.
"It was such a relief to be clever at last. For years I had to keep my cleverness cramped and concealed- not because it was dangerous or forbidden but because it had no useful function my daily life."
We get to see Stella from childhood to middle-age and though she may be an ordinary person,
Hadley tells her story in such a compelling way as to make her life interesting to the reader. It took me awhile to appreciate Stella, but by the end of the novel, I truly did.

Clever Girl reminded me of Colm Toibin's Brooklyn and Alice McDermott's Someone, both in style and substance. All three of these celebrate the life of an ordinary woman, leading a quiet, yet ultimately meaningful life.

rating 4 of 5

My review of Alice Mc Dermott's Someone is here.
My review of Colm Toibin's Brooklyn is here. 



Thanks to TLC Tours for putting me on this tour. The rest of Tessa Hadley's tour is here.

Tuesday, March 4th: Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Wednesday, March 5th: BookNAround
Saturday, March 8th: Books in the Burbs
Monday, March 10th: missris
Tuesday, March 11th: Read. Write. Repeat.
Wednesday, March 12th: She’s Got Books On Her Mind
Thursday, March 13th: A Bookish Way of Life
Friday, March 14th: Write Meg
Monday, March 17th: bookchickdi
Tuesday, March 18th: Tiffany’s Bookshelf
Wednesday, March 19th: A Novel Review
Thursday, March 20th: The House of the Seven Tails
Monday, March 24th: Between the Covers
Tuesday, March 25th: Bibliotica
Wednesday, March 26th: A Chick Who Reads
Thursday, March 27th: 5 Minutes For Books
Monday, March 31st: From the TBR Pile
Tuesday, April 1st: A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall
Wednesday, April 2nd: Sweet Tea and Lollipops