Book Review: Glimmer As You Can

Glimmer As You Can by Danielle Martin

 

This interesting historical fiction takes place in 1962, revolving around 3 key characters, Madeline, Lisa, and Elaine.

Madeline owns a dress shop and turns it into a safe space social club for women at night called the Starlight. She also has secrets from a bad marriage. Lisa is a young stewardess who wants to settle down and get married. Elaine is an ex-pat in a volatile relationship.

All 3 women find friendship and support at the social club where we get to know a whole raft of interesting characters. But Madeline’s ex husband returns and creates trouble for the Starlight and puts the women at risk, upending their lives.

I enjoyed reading about the history of the time and experiencing life through the eyes of these women. Martin did a great job of portraying this time, how women were treated, and what their lives were like.

I did struggle a bit with the pacing of the book, especially in the middle. The tension certainly picked up in the second half as the story changed and the peril increased. However, the Starlight felt like a wonderful place I would like to visit myself.

Overall, I did enjoy this story of friendship and life of women in the 1960s.
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Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the review copy.

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Book Review: Mother Mother

Mother Mother bookBook Review for Mother Mother by Jessica O’Dwyer

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Mother, Mother is the story of 2 mothers, the adoptive and the birth mothers, of Jack (born Juan). It’s the story of an international adoption from Guatemala during a turbulent time and touches on many issues: shady adoptions, ethics, adoption breakdown, interracial adoption, prejudice (against children of colour and of adopted children), and the ins and outs of adoption.

As an adoptive parent myself I was anxious to read this book and I did enjoy it. However, I felt I needed some time to digest it after reading. There are so many issues brought up and so many emotions.

I love that the book alternates point of view to include the birth mother’s experience. And the political environment and some of the unethical adoption practices of Guatemala was also an important part.

This book was certainly heartfelt and had the feeling of a memoir from Julie’s point of view at times – she’s the American adoptive parent. I liked her and felt for her and my heart certainly went out to her when people made thoughtless or “well meaning” comments about adoption, fertility, or her son.

However, the novel also felt a little disjointed to me. Maybe it was trying to cover too much and needed a bit more focus? Maybe it was the pacing? I’m not sure.

Either way, this is an interesting and compelling book about international adoption, both from the perspective of a birth mother and an adoptive mother, and it has some interesting commentary on how society views adoption and adoptive children.

And, for the record, adoption is not second best. Adoptive children are our children. We love them the same as birth children. Birth parents are parents too. Adoptive parents are real parents.

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Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the review copy.

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Book Review: The Wild Heavens

The Wild Heavens book with a blue tree backgroundBook review for The Wild Heavens by Sarah Louise Butler

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This is a beautifully written book, set in the wilds of Northern BC – and the descriptions of nature and the wildlife are certainly an amazing reason to read this book. It takes place over the course of a day, with reflections back into Sandy’s life and childhood, creating a dual timeline.

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Sandy’s grandfather had seen a sasquatch years ago and has been on the lookout for it ever since, instilling the same curiosity in his granddaughter, Sandy. This is a meander tale of their lives in an isolated cabin in the wilderness, how nature and the sasquatch has shaped them.

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The relationships in the book are lovely and well done – parents, children, friends, lovers – they are all authentically done. The author managed to explore a wide range of humanity with a very few characters. I really felt for Sandy and her quest to find the sasquatch and the life she wants to live, watching her come into her own.

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There is a mystical aspect to the book, revolving around the sasquatch, but also around nature itself, which is a character in itself. The descriptions are lush and beautiful and well worth reading for any nature lover.

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Thanks so Edelweiss and the publisher for the review copy.

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Book Review: In a Holildaze

In a Holidaze with Christmas treeBook review for In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren

 

I feel like I’m a bit late to this one, but here it is anyway. This is a fun, very readable Christmas Rom Com by writing team Christina Lauren. I’m usually not one for rom coms but I have read of few of their books now and have found them light and funny.

 

Christmas at the cabin with old family friends is Mae’s favourite time of year – and this year her life is a mess and she is longing for the familiarity of friends and tradition. What she gets, however, is something quite different.

 

Groundhog style, Mae relives the holiday after pleading with the universe to show her what will make her happy. Is it getting together with the guy who likes her and everyone expects her to get together with, or is it pursing his brother who she has had a crush on for forever? How important are traditions that people do for the sake of them and not for enjoyment? How important even is place when the cabin turns out to be too much to maintain for the owners?

 

The romance is fun, there are some great moments that made me laugh, and even a bit of existential angst getting solved. All in all, a good book that follows a pretty predictable trajectory with some interesting characters.

 

Thanks so #netgalley and the publisher for the review copy.

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