Return to the Aegean

Return to the Aegean by E.J. Russell

Thalia grew up on Katafigio, a small island in Greece. She left years ago and has not returned, until now. She has her reasons for not returning all these years, and is now hoping to find some answers and some peace. Will she find them?

Haha….that is my lame excuse of a summary. Now you know why I usually copy the summary from the book or other sources. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a summary for this book so you have to suffer through mine.

Moving on….I enjoyed this book! It has mystery, romance, and betrayal. What more could you ask for, right? How about beautiful descriptions of Greece’s scenery? Ms. Russell’s descriptions put you right on the island. They are very well written and definitely make me want to visit Greece. I could almost smell the ocean and feel the breeze. Ms. Russell also has very good character development. I don’t really relate to Thalia at all, but it didn’t matter because I could find enough of a connection that I felt for her and wanted her to find the truth. I liked a lot of the people around her. For example, I really liked her friend Irini and her step-mom Sophia. They helped to ground Thalia, and I related to them more than I did to Thalia. They were a good connection for me. I also liked Petros, Villi, and Manolis. They all helped Thalia in some way or another, and with each of these people around her she was able to begin the process of healing. And that is how it is in real life. The people we surround ourselves with are the people that ground us, love us, help us, and help make us who we are. It’s the relationships in our lives that bring us the most fulfillment.

I liked Ms. Russell’s writing style and thought it was easy to read and it flowed well for the most part. There were a few typos, and there were also some sentences I read twice and still wasn’t sure where she was going with them, but it wasn’t enough to deter me from continuing. There were also some Greek words I didn’t know the meanings of, but there is an index in the back so I could look them up. I did have some unanswered questions, one of which still bothers me. I can’t go into too much detail without giving it away, but someone knew the whole time what had happened. Why doesn’t this person just tell Thalia when she sees her? She knows Thalia is looking for the truth. It would have saved a lot of trouble. It also would have taken away half of the book, which is probably why. But this is a trusted person. I still don’t get it. And Thalia was never upset with her for not telling her the truth from the get-go. My only explanation would be that she wanted Thalia to find out on her own, and that maybe it would help her move on easier. I still enjoyed the book, but this point is still a little frustrating for me.

This is definitely a book for adults. There is quite a bit of language, including a few “f” words. They caught me by surprise and I didn’t really think they needed to be there. There is also a lot of “physical intimacy.” Some scenes have more details than others, but it is a prevalent part of Thalia’s lifestyle. There is also an attempted rape scene and a murder, which is difficult to read because of how it happened and the people involved. I do recommend this book, with the previous warnings, and for the correct age group.

Rating: R (This does not follow the movie ratings exactly, it is just my way of saying that it is NOT appropriate for younger readers.) Language, “physical intimacy,” attempted rape, and a murder scene.

Recommendation: College and up

Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review, and I thank Ms. Russell for the opportunity to read and review her book.

Dancing on Broken Glass

Dancing on Broken Glass by Ka Hancock

(Summary taken from the back book cover) “Lucy Houston and Mickey Chandler probably shouldn’t have fallen in love, let alone gotten married. They’re both plagued with faulty genes–he has bipolar disorder; she, a ravaging family history of breast cancer. But when their paths cross on the night of Lucy’s twenty-first birthday, sparks fly, and there’s no denying their chemistry. Cautious every step of the way, they are determined to make their relationship work–and they put their commitment in writing. Mickey will take his medication. Lucy won’t blame him for what is beyond his control. He promises honesty. She promises patience. Like any marriage, there are good days and bad days–and some very bad days. In dealing with their unique challenges, they make the heartbreaking decision not to have children. But when Lucy shows up for a routine physical just shy of their eleventh anniversary, she gets an impossible surprise that changes everything. Everything. Suddenly, all their rules are thrown out the window, and the two of them must redefine what love really is.”

Grab your box of kleenexes ladies, you’re going to need it! This book is amazing. And heart-wrenching. It’s one of those books where I could see where it was going and thought about quitting before I got there, because I didn’t know if I could handle it, but I just couldn’t put it down. I was so involved in these people’s lives that I had to see what happened. Ms. Hancock’s character development is so good that I thought of myself as the Chandler’s next door neighbor. I knew all the neighbors so well that I could have just moved on in and felt right at home. Nevermind that I have never been to Connecticut, I felt like I lived there.

As much as I cried, you’d think that I didn’t like this book, but no, I can’t say that. It is amazing. It is very well written and draws you in from the first sentence. I had a roommate in college that had bipolar disorder, and I could tell in seconds whether or not she had taken her medicine that day. That has been my only experience with bipolar disorder, but she had a lot of the same tendencies that Mickey has in the book. Thankfully she never crashed far enough to need hospitalization, but she had her up and down days. I could not imagine what Lucy went through being married to Mickey, but when you love someone you will do anything for them. I loved that message in the book. If Lucy and Mickey could make their marriage work through all those hard times, anyone can. Yes, it’s hard, but you do it. You keep your commitment and love each other through the best and worst of times. I also loved the connection Lucy and her sisters had. I loved Charlotte and Harry and Jan. I highly recommend this book. Just grab your box of kleenexes and lock yourself in your bedroom where you can cry in peace.

There is some language in this book. There are also a few love making scenes, but they are tastefully done and very romantic. There are also some tragic deaths that are heartbreaking and difficult to read. However, there is also hope and inspiration, dedication and love.  I love how the title fits in.

Rating: R (This rating does not follow the movie ratings, it is just my way of saying it is not appropriate for younger readers.) Language, love making, death of a main character.

Recommendation: College and up. I really want to say married and up, because of the love making scenes, but they are tasefully done. For some, married may be better. This is definitely an adult book, though, and not appropriate for young adult readers.

Disclaimer: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Thank you Ms. Hancock for allowing me to read and review this book, it was an honor.

Paper Children

Paper Children by Marcia Fine

(Summary taken from the back book cover) “Driven by cataclysmic world events, the story encompasses the lives of three generations of women. In Book One, Paulina, the privileged daughter of aristocratic parents, reluctantly follows her driven businessman husband to America in 1929. From a vantage point in New York she endures a difficult marriage and slowly becomes aware of the destruction of her large extended family in Poland as the Nazis tighten their grip on Europe. Book Two begins in 1940 following Paulina’s daughter Sarah, as she pursues a career in photography. Sent on assignment to the Displaced Persons camps in Europe, Sarah is shaken loose from her faith and pursues a hedonistic path. The Third book deals with Mimi, Sarah’s daughter. A solitary young woman, she becomes curious about the family’s past. She explores the Holocaust and searches for her roots. In a confrontational scene Paulina hands over her family’s pre-war correspondence that she calls her “Paper Children.”

I really like the concept of this book. I like that it follows three generations of women in a family, and shows how they lived, and the national and world events that happened during their lives. I like that you can see how choices made by these women affected not only them, but how they affected their children and grandchildren as well. It helps me to see that there is importance in this motherhood thing.

I really liked the first book in the story. I found it fascinating to learn how a privileged family lived in Poland at the beginning of the 20th century. I had no idea. I enjoyed learning about Paulina and her family. Even though I didn’t love her husband in the story, I did like that he was so driven and no matter what happened he picked himself up and moved on. The story was depressing a lot of the time, but I liked it. Times were tough, and so it seemed ok. Paulina was very proper and wanted to do everything a good Jewish girl would do. A lot of the first book dealt with her trying to be proper. And then comes book two. Wow, did book two throw me for a loop! I liked it at first with Sarah going to the Displaced Person camps and seeing the devastation for herself. She picks up smoking (which her mother hates) and loses her faith in God while she is there, right at the beginning. Then within 30 pages Ms. Fine throws in this out of place (completely opposite of book one) sensual love-making scene that completely took me by surprise. It is very detailed. I’ll put it that way. Very detailed.

Unfortunately, I think the book goes downhill from there. A lot of the rest of book two is about “physical intimacy” and it was too much for me. There is also a lot of profanity. There are lessons to be learned, but, I think there are better ways to learn them. The story, at that point, just lost a lot of its excitement. I had to push through to the end. Then comes book three and I thought it was completely unrealistic. It starts when Mimi is four years old. I have an almost-four-year-old, and it just didn’t fit. For example, Mimi, at four, supposedly says, “The year of mourning after my grandfather’s death became a slow dirge of cleaning out closets, consolidating bank accounts, and shuffling papers.” My daughter would never say anything even close to that. The vocabulary is much to difficult for that age.  I wish it would have started when she was 12 or older, I think it would have been much more realistic. It does catch up with her age, and she has her own love-making scenes. It takes her through the sixties with their anti-war demonstrations and tie-dye t-shirts. It may just be me, but this time period doesn’t interest me as much as the earlier times do, and so I just wasn’t interested at this point. And it was still depressing. I felt more depressed and let down at the end than I did during the war times.

In other words, I didn’t love this book. It was ok. I couldn’t recommend it to any of my friends because of the “physical intimacy” and language. There is also violence, including domestic violence and WWII camp devastation. However, if those things don’t bother you and you enjoy reading about people and their histories, then you may enjoy this book.

Rating: R (Remember, this does not follow the movie ratings exactly, it’s just my way of saying it is NOT for younger readers.) There is a lot of “physical intimacy,” language, violence (including domestic violence), smoking, and war-time devastation.

Recommendation: Married and up. Definitely.

Disclaimer: I did receive a free copy of this book for my review. This did not sway my review in any way. All  my reviews are honest.

A Woman’s Place

A Woman’s Place by Lynn Austin

(Summary taken from the inside book jacket) “Virginia Mitchell watched her husband carve the Sunday pot roast and wondered if he was having an affair. He showed more interest in the way the meat was cooked than he did in her. But maybe it was better if she didn’t know for certain. This way she wouldn’t be forced to decide whether to live with the knowledge in silence, forgive him, or leave him. She found it difficult enough to decide what to fix for dinner, let alone wrestle with questions of infidelity and trust….Virginia’s insecurity regarding her marriage casts a pall over her future. But with the devastating news of America’s entrance into WWII. Ginny feels called to make a difference. As she embarks on this journey, she’ll meet three other women–and in the process, change her world.”)

I liked this book a lot. I found it so interesting to learn about these four (and later on, a fifth) women and their lives. I liked how their lives intertwined, and how they forged friendships and also how they forged a way for women into the workplace during the WWII era. I liked each of the characters, and felt as if I could walk into their world and fit right in. It did take me awhile to get them straight, and remember who was who, but by the end they felt like my friends. I liked how each of them dealt with her own trials, and yet they all faced many of the same trials together. They helped each other, and came to rely on each other. The men in the book made me furious. I did like Earl. Ginny’s husband drove me crazy! And the men workers at the factory were awful. I found it difficult to believe that some of those problems existed in the 1940’s. I knew women worked during WWII because I have seen the Rosie the Riveter poster:

but I’d never thought about how that made the men feel, or what those women did once the war was over. I enjoyed this book and recommend it.

The writing style is hard to get used to at the beginning, but becomes easier by the end. It is a little slow in some parts, but it was engaging enough to keep me reading. There are some scenes in the book that are difficult to read because of the way the people were treated. There is some harsh racial violence (beatings, and a terrible “accident”) and you learn of characters dying in the war. There is some language. One of the characters has a habit of drinking and getting drunk. There is a little bit of a Christian message in the book because a couple of the characters discuss God and His influence in their lives.

Rating: PG-13+ (Racial beatings, a so-called “accident,” characters dying in the war, sparse language, drinking, and Ginny wondering about an affair.)

Recommendation: High School and Up. I took a Women’s History class in high school, and this would have been a great read for that class. It is fiction, but it’s great to see a different viewpoint of WWII.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
(Summary taken from the inside book jacket) “January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’d never met, a native of Guernsey, the British island once occupied by the Nazis. He’d come across her name on the flyleaf of a secondhand volume by Charles Lamb. Perhaps she could tell him where he might find more books by this author. As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, she is drawn into the world of this man and his friends, all members of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, a unique book club formed in a unique, spur-of-the-moment way: as an alibi to protect its members from arrest by the Germans. Juliet begins a remarkable´╗┐ correspondence with the Society’s charming, deeply human members, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all. Through their letters she learns about their island, their taste in books, and the powerful, transformative impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds there will change her forever.”
I really liked this book. I was wary at first because it is written in letter-style, which can be choppy and difficult to follow, but Ms. Shaffer and Ms. Barrows pulled it off very well. They write in a fun, light, happy tone, even though there are some hard things discussed. The war was hard on these people, and they talk of their sufferings, which is good for me to remember, but it is difficult to hear. I fell in love with these characters, just as Juliet did, and I just felt as if I were right there with her meeting them. It’s fun to see how Juliet “grows up” as the book progresses, and how she begins to see things from a different light. This book is rich with life experiences: how to cope with difficult situations, how to adapt to what life brings you, and that the people in our lives are more important than any thing we may possess. I wholeheartedly recommend this book. It is a fun, easy read that teaches what matters most in life.
Rating: PG-13 (War-time experiences, death, minor language, and a gruesome explanation of what occurred in the concentration camps.)
Recommendation: High School and up. The deaths and experiences described in the concentration camps were really hard to read, and probably shouldn’t be read by younger readers.

A Thousand Splendid Suns

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

(Summary taken from the inside book jacket) “‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ is a breathtaking story set against the volatile events of Afghanistan’s last thirty years–from the Soviet invasion to the reign of the Taliban to post-Taliban rebuilding–that puts the violence, fear, hope, and faith of this country in intimate, human terms. It is a tale of two generations of characters brought jarringly together by the tragic sweep of war, where personal lives–the struggle to survive, raise a family, find happiness–are inextricable from the history playing out around them.”

Oh, where do I even start with this book? It’s awful. Well, like “Kite Runner,” the writing is amazing, but the events that unfold are awful. I wanted so much to just put it down and stay in my ignorance, but I couldn’t. I could not put it down. The things that happen to these two women are beyond my imagination. If one or two of those things happened to me I think I would crawl into a little ball and disappear mentally, yet these women found some (albeit small) joy in each other and the children. I kept thinking that it couldn’t get worse, and then it would. It was extremely disturbing at times. It took me awhile to read it because I’d have to put it down and walk away until I could regain my composure. I still have haunting images in my head. I just kept thinking over and over how blessed I am. I have a wonderful husband who treats me with love and respect. He also treats all of our children with love and respect. I have a college education. I may wear whatever I want and go anywhere I want to. I love listening to music and do it often. I worship in the church I want to. My children were born in a very clean hospital with anything that might be needed readily available. If I want a drink of water all I have to do is turn on a faucet. The list could go on and on. I am so blessed. I am so blessed.

This book is not for the faint of heart. It is VERY hard to read. There is violence, war, profanity, rape, torture, death. And why did I read it? It is very well written and it just draws you in. I felt as if I were reading Mr. Hosseini’s diary. I love his writing, yet I despise it. Although it is awful, I am glad I read it. I’m glad to be reminded of my blessings, and I’m glad to be reminded that the world is not at peace. There are evil people out there who don’t care about anything except themselves. It’s a hard lesson to learn. I am so blessed. If you liked “Kite Runner” I would recommend this book. His writing is truly amazing, it is just extremely difficult to read because of all the events that occur. I would not recommend this book if any of the above mentioned things are too disturbing to you.

Rating: R (Remember this does not necessarily follow the movie ratings, it is just my way of saying that children and young adults should NOT read this book.) War, violence, “physical intimacy,” rape, profanity, death, murder.

Recommendation: College and up. Maybe a really mature high school senior, but I would suggest mom or dad read it first to see. It was hard for me as an adult to take it all in and not be overwhelmed, and in fact, there were times that I did have to put it down and walk away because I was so disturbed.

The Kite Runner

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

(Summary taken from the inside book jacket) “Raised in the same household and sharing the same wet nurse, Amir and Hassan nonetheless grow up in different worlds: Amir is the son of a prominent and wealthy man, while Hassan, the son of Amir’s father’s servant, is a Hazara, member of a shunned ethnic minority. Their intertwined lives, and their fates, reflect the eventual tragedy of the world around them.  When the Soviets invade and he and his father flee the country for a new life in California, Amir thinks that he has escaped his past. And yet he cannot leave the memory of Hassan behind him.”

This book is amazing. It’s tragic and at times traumatic, but so well written. When I finished the book I felt as if I had just read Mr. Hosseini’s diary. He grabs your attention at the very beginning and draws you into this story that pulls at your heart strings, makes you angry, makes you cry, and makes you very glad to have grown up in the United States of America. The plot has twists and turns and even though you may think you know what is going to happen, it still doesn’t happen exactly as you thought. Mr. Hosseini’s character development is right on. I felt so attached to these characters. His words just come to life on the page.

The events in the story are very difficult to read. I had to put the book down a few times and walk away because I was so traumatized. Even after putting the book down I couldn’t get the images out of my head. It was really hard, but I kept going back. I was so involved I had to finish. I don’t know how much is true about Afghanistan, like dates of invasions and if the Soviets or the Taliban did the things in the stories, but it sure makes you see world events in a different light. It puts a more personal side to events that happen around the world. I would recommend reading this book if you think you can handle the events that take place. It is so well written and there is a wonderful lesson to be learned. There are some happy moments in the book and the main character, Amir, learns a great lesson and learns to overcome his weaknesses. That is something we can all relate to and hope to achieve. I enjoyed learning more about Afghanistan and the way of life there, and some of their traditons.

Rating: R (Remember this does not follow the movie ratings. It is my way of saying this is NOT for children or young adults.) There is a rape scene and there are descriptions alluding to other sexual abuse. There is a horrible death by stoning scene. There are also war-time events that take place that are not for younger readers. There is also a lot of language.

Recommendation: College and up, in my opinion. Maybe a really mature high school senior could handle it, but I don’t think I’d go younger than that. It’s an amazing book, but very difficult to read because of the events that take place.

Across a Harvested Field

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Across a Harvested Field by Robert Goble

(Summary taken from the back of the book) “To Jordan Fairchild, the dark-haired girl renting his basement apartment seems somewhat quiet and reclusive. Just a business arrangement, he thinks, as he watches her sign the name “Nattie Hand” on the contract. Though two thousand miles away, Celeste Betancourt, an attractive Georgetown graduate student he met through a mutual friend, has captured his attention. A budding friendship with Nattie soon begins to bloom. Little does Jordan know his girl-next-door renter is none other than the world-famous pop star, a.k.a. Natalia Antonali, who recently disappeared from the public eye; little does he know how much his friendship will mean to her, how, for the first time, a love begins to grow, untainted by ‘Natalia,’ and how she hopes Jordan never discovers the truth.”

I need to begin by saying that this author, Mr. Goble, found me on Facebook and sent me this book to review. I thank him for the opportunity and hope that he still “Like”(s) my blog after reading my review.  Although I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormon are other sometimes used names), LDS fiction has never been my favorite genre. Unfortunately for Mr. Goble, this book did not change my opinion of LDS fiction. One look at the cover and I knew I was in trouble. I would never have picked this book off the shelf. Having said that, I did read it. I liked the characters in the book, but the whole scenario just seemed too impossible. How would a superstar (comparable to Brittney Spears) end up in Magna, UT? It never explained why she chose to go there or how she even knew where it was. I thought Jordan was a nice guy, but the pieces didn’t really fit together for me. I felt bad that he had lost his family at such a young age, and I could have empathy for him, but I just could not see a widowed man in his mid-to-late twenties canning pumpkins, peaches, and pears. My husband does help me when I can fruit, but he would NEVER do it if I weren’t around. That just never felt right to me, but maybe other men would do it. And then the thought that “Nattie” and “Natalia” might be the same person never crossed his mind as he saw her on the news and in magazines, never? I don’t know.

Mr. Goble’s writing style is different. He uses a lot of parenthesis to explain little side-notes that add to the “cheesy” feeling in the book. I was also confused….was it LDS fiction or not? Let me explain: you would expect an LDS fiction book to have references to LDS buildings, church meetings, and standards (not smoking or drinking alcohol, or using profanity), but you would also expect the characters to follow those standards. There was a lot of profanity in this book. Not all the worst words, but a lot of little four-letter words. It drove me crazy. His writing feels forced. He tries in a few instances to have Jordan sound intellectual, but it comes across as someone trying to sound intellectual, not as someone who is actually intellectual.  I think Mr. Goble would have made the whole thing feel better if he had taken all the LDS references out and just made it a fictional love story. To all LDS fiction writers everywhere–that is what readers want, just good, clean reads. We are LDS and we consider ourselves normal, everyday people, not a group that needs special books written just for us. Besides, you will get a lot more readers if everyone can read it and not just one group.

Anyway, this happens to be one of my “soap-box” topics, so please forgive me for going on. Overall, the middle of the book was the best. It actually had me turning pages to see what happened with the paparazzi and with Jordan finding out the truth. Except that I hated how Jordan went into this mad rage and ruined everything in a split second. His rage was over-the-top. The ending was okay but unbelievable. I didn’t hate the book, but I would not recommend it to my friends because I know they feel the same way I do about LDS fiction. If you like the genre and are okay with profanity then I would recommend it.

Rating: PG-13 (Profanity, some kissing and some innuendos)

Recommendation: High school and up. I would recommend it if you enjoy LDS fiction and are okay with profanity.

Plain Truth

Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult
(Summary taken from inside the book jacket) “The discovery of a dead infant shakes Lancaster County to its core. But the police investigation leads to a more shocking disclosure: Circumstantial evidence suggests that 18-year-old Katie Fisher, an unmarried Amish woman believed to be the mother, took the newborn’s life. When Ellie Hathaway, a big-city attorney, comes to Paradise, Pennsylvania, to defend Katie, two cultures collide–and for the first time in her career, Ellie faces a system of justice very different from her own. Delving deep inside the world of those who live “plain,” Ellie must find a way to reach Katie. And as she unravels a tangled murder case, Ellie also looks deep within–to confront  her own fears and desires when a man from her past reenters her life.”
I found this book very interesting. It is different from what I thought it would be, and it pulls at many different emotions. On the one hand, I believed what Katie said had happened, and on the other I didn’t. Haha. I just couldn’t decide. I liked the characters in the book, except for Katie’s father. I think Ms. Picoult did a good job of creating the characters and making you feel like you know them. I thought she did a good job developing the story and it did have a few twists that I didn’t expect. I did, in the end, figure out the mystery, but (I’m not going to give anything away here so this may be kind of vague) I couldn’t decide how I wanted to take it. I don’t think I can believe this person capable of murder, so I want to believe that what Ellie’s case showed was truly the case, but that this person was……ohhhh I guess I can’t say this without giving it away. Bummer. If you want to know, email me…. Anyway, I liked this book. It was a fairly easy read and it was entertaining and thoughtful. There was a little too much language in it for me, I think she used the “f” word at least once, maybe twice. She also took the Lord’s name in vain a couple of times. If that’s not okay with you then I would say don’t read it. I could have also done without some of the “physical intimacy” scenes. The whole plot revolves around premarital and unprotected relations, but there are only one or two times where it is described.
Rating: R (Remember, the R rating does not follow a movie’s R rating, it just means it is not appropriate for anyone younger than college). Language and physical intimacy.
Recommendation: College and up (The language mostly, but also the physical intimacy scenes, make this inappropriate for anyone younger than college. It’s sad because it could be used to show teenagers the consequences of their actions, but I think it is just too much.)

The Mermaid Chair

The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd
(Summary taken from the book jacket) “Inside the church of a Benedictine monastery on Egret Island, just off the coast of South Carolina, resides a beautiful and mysterious chair ornately carved with mermaids and dedicated to a saint who, legend claims, was a mermaid before her conversion. When Jessie is summoned home to the island to cope with her eccentric mother’s seemingly inexplicable act of violence, she is living a conventional life with her husband, Hugh, a life ‘molded to the smallest space possible.’ Jessie loves Hugh, but once there, she finds herself drawn to Brother Thomas, a monk who is soon to take his final vows. Amid a rich community of unforgettable island women and the exotic beauty of marshlands, tidal creeks, and mejestic egrets, Jessie grapples with the tension of desire and the struggle to deny it, with a freedom that feels overwhelmingly right and the immutable force of home and marriage.”
Oh, what to say about this book. After Secret Life of Bees I was very excited to read this book. Well, it was very different. If you step back and look at the over-all story, there are certain things that are similar in the books, but..wow. From  page 2 of this book you know the character is going to have an affair, and you know she is going to destroy her life. So after page 2 I was left wondering if I should even read it. I mean, if you read it are you being immoral for reading about a sordid love affair? You know there will be scenes of “physical intimacy.” You know that it is going to be a bad situation, and yet do you read it??? In one sense I didn’t want to read it because I didn’t know if it was morally right to read it. Then in the other sense I was so enthralled with the other aspects of the story, I wanted answers to my questions. And, I really wanted to see if this stupid lady would come to her senses and do the right thing. So did I read it??? Yes, I did. I am bad at stopping half-way. Was I glad I finished it??? Yes, I was. My questions were answered, and (I don’t want to give anything away) I was satisfied with the resolution. It ended up being a good book. It really made me think at the end. I don’t want to have the feelings she did in 10 more years, so I looked a lot at me, and what I can do to improve my really good marriage now, and also what can I do to help myself? This book shows a lot about human nature, love, forgiveness, mental illness, and friendship. It also shows how what happens to us in our childhood affects what happens in our adult lives. I do love her writing though. It really pulls you in.
Rating: R (Remember, this rating is not congruent with the movie ratings.) My R rating means that there is a lot of language and there is a lot of “physical intimacy.” The first intimacy scene is a little descriptive but from then on they just say they “made love.”
Recommendation: 18+, but really I would say you should be HAPPILY married, and strong in your relationship if you want to read this book. You should also have a good, strong set of morals and NO inclination to have an affair. I just say this because I had such a moral struggle to begin with, just because I knew the premise of the story. But, I think it ended up being a good thing in the end. So there you go…you have the info. so you can make your own choice.