Tag Archives: Aging

Review & Giveaway: Under a Summer Sky

Under a Summer Sky
Under a Summer Sky
By Nan Rossiter
(Kensington Publishing Corporation, Paperback, 9780758283917, April 2014, 352pp.)

The Short of It:

Faith, love and family in a gorgeous Cape Cod setting.

The Rest of It:

Laney Coleman and her minister husband Noah live in an old, beloved Cape Cod house with their five rambunctious boys. Their lives are full, but happy. With the two oldest boys heading out to college, this particular summer seems bittersweet. Her boys are growing up and when her youngest son is bullied, their lives take on a complexity that threatens to mar this perfect time. But as with most situations, faith and patience is what pulls Laney through and when she finds herself hosting her brother-in-law’s wedding, she decides to embrace the chaos.

If you haven’t read Rossiter’s books before, you are in for a real treat. This book can be read as a stand-alone novel but it builds on the characters introduced in her previous books. It’s really a culmination of all of her novels. It was nice to visit these characters again, given the heartache that some of them endured in the past.

This is one of those books that you reach for and then smile while reading. It’s a feel-good book. You know the type I am talking about. It contains characters that you care about, a gorgeous setting, food talk (think chowder and peach cobbler), and I can’t forget the furry, four-legged members of the family because Rossiter manages to work them into every book. But as pleasant as it is to read Rossiter’s books, I am always surprised as how she manages to weave in the heavier topics. Aging, health concerns, bullying and characters who question their faith are all included here and it’s what makes this family so real.

This is the perfect summer read because it offers up a lot more than just a sunny locale. It’s filled with feel-good moments but at the same time, really makes you think about the issues presented. Rossiter never fails to impress me. I don’t know how she does it! Her books are always a hit with me and I love how she writes about what she loves. She makes it all look so effortless. The inclusion of the some of the recipes featured is a big plus. I have already made the pasta sauce once and it’s about to be made again later this week.

I have suggested Rossiter’s books to more people than I can count so when she offered a copy for me to give away, well… I jumped at the opportunity. If you’d like a chance to win your own copy, check out the details below.


This giveaway is for one copy of Under a Summer Sky and is open to the US and Canada. One winner will be chosen randomly by me. The book will come directly from the author. Only one entry per person. Giveaway closes on June 6, 2014 (pacific). I will contact the winners for his/her mailing address.


Source: Sent to me by the author.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: Let’s Just Say It Wasn’t Pretty (Audio)

Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty
Let’s Just Say It Wasn’t Pretty
Read By Diane Keaton
(Random House Audio, Compact Disc, 9780804165853, April 2014)

The Short of It:

An observant, witty take on the meaning of beauty.

The Rest of It:

Diane Keaton is a wonderful storyteller. She can literally talk about anything and somehow make it fascinating. I enjoyed Then Again, some years back. That book focused on family and mainly, her relationship to her mother. I loved that book. She seemed so genuine and although she did hold a little back when it came to her many love affairs with some very recognizable names (Pacino, Beatty, Allen), I still enjoyed it quite a bit.

So, when her new book came out, I quickly snatched it up on audio, which is my preferred reading method for her books because they are read by her which makes them irresistible to me. Listening to it, I really got the feeling that she was sitting right next to me and we were having a little chat. Her conversational tone and her willingness to be vulnerable is what stands out to me. In Let’s Just Say It Wasn’t Pretty, she focuses on beauty. Primarily, what beauty means to her. Given that she is one of the few actresses in Hollywood that hasn’t had anything done to her face, I have a lot of respect for her.

Sure, she’s a little neurotic and all over the place when she gives interviews but I love her personality. Her favorite feature? Her eyes, but not because of how they look, but because of what they see. This is a theme throughout the entire memoir. Through fashion and architecture, her love for all things beautiful shines through.

As a forty-something woman, I could certainly relate to a lot of what she shares. She doesn’t hold anything back as far as her insecurities about herself, but the book felt abbreviated to me. Maybe, a tad too short, especially for an audio book . It is just five hours long. I could have easily spent a few more hours with her.

Regardless of its length, I loved it for its message and listening to it was a nice way to spend a few hours. I REALLY wanted to see her in person. She had a few events close to me but I just couldn’t make them work.

Have you read her books? What’s your favorite Keaton movie? Everyone loves her more recent stuff but to date, my fave is still Manhattan Murder Mystery.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.