Thursday, October 29, 2015

Book Review: "A Window Opens" by Elisabeth Egan

The first thing that caught my eye was the cover.  The title alone was my clue to the storyline.  "A Window Opens."  

The saying goes, "When One Door Closes, Another Opens."  But I've also heard, "When A Door Closes, A Window Opens."

I knew this would be a book about change.  So similar to my own life in many ways that it was hard for me to read in the beginning.

And now that I've finished the book, I'm not sure if the book has what I would call "a slow start," or if it made me think so much about my own life challenges, including dealing with a sick parent, a change in income and relationship circumstances that it was personal for me.

Then there's Alice's husband, Nicholas, who like many husbands/men we know is facing change in his own work and life.  

The three kids.  Well, they're doing exactly what they're supposed to be doing, growing, learning and looking for guidance.

It's also quite relatable for those of us who find ourselves to be among, how can I say, the "more experienced" people in the workforce.

One thing is certain, the author has shaped a character in Alice that is hard not to like.  She's funny, she's loyal and she works really hard.  Plus she loves, loves, loves her family.  

Last, but not least, there's the family's nanny, Jessie, who is a "superwoman" in her own right.

Can women have it all?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  Elisabeth Egan sheds the spotlight on what "having it all" really means.

*The publisher provided me with a free copy of this book for the purposes of preparing this review.  The opinions expressed are solely mine.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

"They Call It Stormy Monday"

I'm not sure who came up with the term "Stormy Monday," but they should have perhaps modified it to say, "Calm Sunday before the Stormy Monday."

Just about 4 p.m. on Sunday evening is when I start to get the "Monday Morning Blues."

Don't get me wrong.  I'd feel much worse on Sunday nights, if I had nowhere to go on Monday morning.  

But, who doesn't wish they had just one more day to sleep in late? Even though I can never sleep in late because my dog wakes me up at the same time on the weekend because he doesn't know his days of the week.

Any-how, I'm thinking that maybe I should start trying to figure out a way to turn around the Monday morning blues and make it the day of the week I look forward to instead of Friday.  Who am I kidding?  That will never happen.  But, I can change my attitude.

So, instead of sitting around waiting for "The Good Wife" to come on and signal that the work-week is upon us, I decided tonight to bake a cake.  That's right.  I'm "celebrating" the beginning of a new week, new challenges, new things to learn, new routes to work and being lucky enough to have a place where I can earn a decent living to support myself.

Maybe instead of calling it "Stormy Monday," I could call it "Magical Monday."

If we can believe it - we can achieve it, right?

At least, I'll have cake to go with my coffee.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Season of Salt and Honey by Hannah Tunnicliffee

From the author of the “sweet, airy novel” (Publishers WeeklyThe Color of Tea comes a resonant new book about a woman starting over following the tragic loss of her fiancĂ©.

Frankie is a runaway bride. Or rather, she is running away from her fiancĂ©’s funeral, the unthinkable event that has thrown her entire life into crisis. Frankie and Alex were high school sweethearts and each other’s first loves. They should have been together forever. But Alex died in a surfing accident, and now Frankie is walking away from her family, driving north and east, letting her body do the thinking, all the way into the Cascade Mountain range.

At Alex’s family cabin, Frankie can give in to her grief and think about nothing. There are no aunts trying feed her just a few polpette or just a taste of affogato, despite her lack of appetite; none of Alex’s family around to look questioningly at her left ring finger, no one there to perform for. Except for Jack, the cabin’s caretaker, who has been tasked with forcing Frankie out of the property that isn’t rightfully hers. And except for Bella, Frankie’s wild-child younger sister who deserted the family years ago only to reappear at Frankie’s lowest moment to dredge up painful memories from the past.

But Frankie learns she can’t hide—not from her family, not from the past, and not from truths about Alex she’d rather not face. The seasonal magic of the forest and its welcoming residents remind her that everything—flowers to bud, bread to rise, a heart to heal—takes its own time. This stunning novel, from the author of The Color of Tea, is a feast for the senses, with a message of forgiveness, hope, and the many ways to find and give love. 

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